Drone or Rover? DJI Announcement Juices Rumor Mill

dji announcement
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Leave it to DJI to have the drone community on Youtube dissecting every frame of its teaser video. Set to go live at 9:30 pm EST, it’s a good bet the company isn’t dropping a new Phantom or an upgraded Spark. The lack of an event is Exhibit A on evidence the new product will not be a camera drone. I know, groans all around for those of us hoping to see the Phantom line fly again.

Here’s the DJI teaser for the product announcement:

I know what you’re thinking. The circle lighting up looks close to the original Spark. One piece of info leaning towards no on a Spark 2 tonight happens between the 3 and 4-second mark. You can see the camera and under it the field of view (FOV). Blowing it up inside Lightroom shows a 130-degree FOV.

The FOV on the original Spark is 81.9 degrees. Unless the DJI is going all in on action, it would be an odd camera choice for a drone. No logo marks of Hasselblad dissuade any ideas of a premium camera drone.

Then there are the Mavic 2 leaks. Yep, we are going back in time to one of DJI’s more significant leaks. We all remember this picture below:

dji rover
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Check out the top left corner

Two of the three products have been released. The Mavic 2 and the Osmo Pocket. How about the third? Some sort of ground-based rover.

Don’t forget the slogan of ‘Learn to Win.’ While some point to the parallels between it and the Spark’s marketing slogan, it’s a bit of misdirect. What about a rover you can customize and program. It would definitely fulfill the slogan emphasizing learning.

RoboMasters and DJI

The likely scenario is DJI releasing the first consumer-oriented product out of its RoboMasters partnership. You can already see accessories popping up on DJI’s site. What about potential product images? Below are supposed shots of the new DJI Rover (possible name):

possible dji rover
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Don’t you love grainy photos? Thanks for the epic shot from your ancient camera phone.

The question on everyone’s mind is what’s the use case? If the rumors come true, it marks two product launches in a row of DJI deviating from its core drone business. Considering the uneven year DJI has endured, it’s a gamble.

Yes, they have an iron grip over camera drones. Action cameras? No. Rovers? It’s unclear if there’s a broad market for a UGV. My immediate thoughts are no, but there’s nothing wrong with waiting till tonight to see if DJI pulls a brand new market out of its hat. There wasn’t a consumer drone market until there was thanks to DJI. Can the company pull off the same with wheels? Consider me intrigued.

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