This month at FPV Insider we managed to get the scoop on DJI with Michael Perry their man about town…or the world as the case may be. Find out his thoughts on No-Fly Zones and more below…
FPV: Hi Michael, appreciate your time as we know you’re a busy man, but firstly just some background on you would be interesting.
So what’s your role at DJI?
MP: Hi, Thanks for chatting with me. I am the Public Relations Manager at DJI.
FPV: How did you come to work for the business?
MP: I started working with DJI in January 2014. I have always been passionate about filmmaking and had been following the development of aerial filmmaking for a while. After working in Hong Kong for several years I got an opportunity to meet with the DJI team and jumped at the chance to come on board.
FPV: Which is your favourite DJI product or product feature and why?
MP: My favourite product has got to be the Inspire 1. The image that it produces is just remarkable and the flight experience is so responsive. I can’t wait to take one with me the next time I get a vacation (in 2017 at this rate).
I suppose this is a response to a slightly different question, but the feature that I think is going to be the most important for us is the SDK. Already we have several companies developing innovative software that can be added to the Phantom 2 Vision series that will help open up the possibilities of what people can do from the sky.
FPV: What are the team at DJI looking forward to in 2015?
MP: We are always most excited about the innovation and creativity that our users bring to our platform. Right now, we are running a DJI Stories competition and have been continuously inspired by what our customers have shared with us about their experiences flying DJI products. As our products reach more people in different corners of the world, we are certain that we’ll see even more amazing things from DJI pilots in 2015.
FPV: The Inspire 1 quadcopter is gaining huge positive sentiment from our customers and particularly our MD, Simon Dale, who has just taken his with him skiing, what has been the response to the platform elsewhere around the world?
MP: The Inspire 1 has had a phenomenal response so far. We have heard consistently great things from everyone across professional backgrounds and flight experience. Whether it’s on a ski vacation (ask Simon for a recommendation when I get my break in 2017) or commercial set, pilots have loved the level of control the Inspire 1 provides for aerial creativity out of the box.
FPV: DJI’s implementation of the No Fly Zone is a great safety feature, which our team at FirstPersonView have been advocates for, but do you think the feature is gaining the right level of media attention considering the level of negative press drones and quadcopters have received in the past around the issue of flying near airports?
MP: The No Fly Zones have been mentioned in many articles about drones over the past several months. However, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t think coverage of the No Fly Zones is ever going to be positive. We have seen this feature draw criticism for limiting the flight paths of otherwise responsible operators and the next week it gets flack for not being comprehensive enough. We – not just DJI but the industry as a whole – are working hard to balance both interests simultaneously in creating a system that keeps the skies safe and open to innovation.
The important thing that we always emphasize, however, is that No Fly Zones are just one tool to help pilots fly safely and legally. The bigger opportunity is to promote stronger awareness of safe and legal flight. This is why we are increasing the videos about safe flight produced by DJI, including a safety checklist inside the app and working with our dealers to help promote materials from national regulators on legal guidelines.
FPV: What do you see as the positive benefits of drones use from your work at DJI?
Fundamentally drone technology allows people to see and access the world from spaces that were previously too dangerous or costly to access. This has allowed for a variety of perspectives that allow for people to do everything from putting out fires to ensuring crops grow to their full potential. The amount of amazing things that people are doing with drones expands by the day and truly speaks to the opportunity that is created when complex technology is made accessible and affordable to a wide variety of creators and innovators.
FPV: What does the future look like to DJI?
DJI is motivated by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. As we move forward we see the possibilities of how people use drones in their daily lives and workflows expanding to do tasks that were previously thought to be impossible. This will be driven by further developments in drone technology, ranging from an expanded range of sensors, greater levels of autonomy, more integrated safety features and, of course, longer flight times.
FPV: Do you have any plans for International Drone Day?
MP: We will be at SXSW showing the innovative potential of drones. We’re very excited to show our support!
FPV: Have you tried FPV flying and FPV racing, any thoughts on this?
I have flown FPV using the Inspire 1 and the Avegant Jellyfish prototype at CES. The experience was transformative and has driven me to want to explore it even further. I have been at several events with FPV racing, but unfortunately I have not been able to try it myself – too busy working the event! I absolutely want to try racing with a pair of Fat Shark goggles. Hopefully I can make it happen soon.
FPV: Well we hope you enjoyed this installment of FPV Insider, please stay stay tuned for our next installment from inside the industry!