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March 3, 2021

🧭 Good morning!

The latest DJI drone is fast
DJI FPV back lights
Jonathan Feist / Android Authority

DJI has released its first FPV drone, a first-person view drone made for racing, and involves strapping a headset on and going racing. 

It’s fast and fun, and at $1,299 for the bundle and weighing 800 grams, it has some hybrid features along with a racing setup… And far better than for me to explain it, Drone Rush’s Jonathan Feist lends a hand to explain what it all means for you beloved readers.

Here’s Feisty:

  • “The DJI FPV is an exciting hybrid racing drone. DJI managed to combine the ease of flying a camera drone with the thrill of a racing drone — just dive into the FPV headset, and enjoy the ride.
  • It really is that easy.

The DJI FPV has three main flight modes:

  • Normal mode acts a lot like the camera drones you might be used to. This machine rocks a 4K camera that shoots at 60fps, and has multiple FOV options.
  • Sport mode unleashes the speed, and introduces some flight characteristics of a racing drone. Ultimately, Sport mode is your racing trainer mode.
  • Manual mode takes things to levels never seen before in consumer drones from DJI. Not only are you now in full manual control of the drone, but you’ll be enjoying speeds up to 87mph/140km/h. (No safety features, just raw speed!)
  • Yes, that’s right: the DJI FPV is capable of speeds roughly double that of the DJI Mavic drones you might be used to.

Why so fast?

  • Please think of the DJI FPV as a motorcycle. As far as vehicles go, a motorcycle isn’t super efficient, but there are few cars as fast and exciting as being on a two-wheeled street rocket. The drone also rocks a 0-60mph time of 2 seconds, not unlike a supercar or sport motorcycle.
  • The DJI FPV is ideal for pilots that want to fly their drone. No, not just put a camera into the sky, I mean really fly their drone.
  • It doesn’t come with usual features like DJI’s Active Track, or flight patterns or photo modes you get from the slower, more steady DJI drones that are all about content creation and safety.
  • But it does have obstacle avoidance, and an emergency brake to make it slow and/or stop in a flash.
  • And you can use the headset and 4K camera to frame a shot, it’s just very different to a normal drone experience.
DJI FPV Goggles V2 front angle
Jonathan Feist / Android Authority

Specs and pricing:

  • The starting price for the DJI FPV is $1299. That gets you the drone, one battery and the DJI FPV Goggles V2, with low-latency HD (vs the normal analog drone setups). It’s ready out of the box, no assembly required. You’ll get up to a max of 20 minutes of battery life, but less if you’re pushing the drone at full-speeds.
  • You may want to tack on the Fly More kit for $299 to get some more batteries, and the new Motion Controller for $199. 
  • Please remember, you’ll need a Visual Observer to legally fly outdoors in the United States while using a VR headset. Some FAA legal info broken down here, and international drone laws here.

Fly safe!”

Roundup

🥽 Forget Zoom? Microsoft announced Microsoft Mesh, a promising-sounding mixed-reality platform “which enables people to interact holographically with others” that works on the HoloLens 2 along with other devices.

A demo showed off how a meeting would work, which looked really good and of course better than being stuck on a Zoom call, although a HoloLens 2 is about $3,500! Still, it led to at least one headline that it feels like the virtual future of Microsoft Teams meetings and the like (The Verge).

🍏 To that point: interesting speculation here that Apple might waltz in and crush these early-looking AR setups with better, bolder tech (PC Mag).

⚾ Also, people playing Pokemon Go with HoloLens gave us some insight into AR gaming. Just a proof-of-concept demo, and still clumsy even then, but the shared real-world interactions look good (Engadget).

🔎 Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G breaks cover courtesy of Google, specs in tow (Android Authority).

⌚ Now there’s evidence for Samsung developing a WearOS watch, despite its efforts with Tizen (Android Authority).

🤔 Google-free /e/ OS is now selling preloaded phones in the US, starting at $380. Downside: older phones, and no Fairphone on offer either (Ars Technica).

🍎 iPhone sticking with Lightning port over USB-C for “foreseeable future” (MacRumors).

🔊 Spotify podcast listeners to top Apple’s for the first time sometime this year, forecast claims (TechCrunch).

📦 Amazon changed its app icon again, ditching that ‘mustache’ people thought was problematic (Mashable).

💰 Intel has been ordered to pay $2.3B after losing a US patent trial, but said it would appeal (Reuters).

🔫 Epic Games is buying Fall Guys creator Mediatonic, following purchases of Rocket League dev Psyonix, and others. Will it become free-to-play? (The Verge).

🐟 Cuttlefish can pass the marshmallow test (Ars Technica).

🏃‍♂️ An AI was taught to play the world’s hardest video game and still couldn’t set a record (Gizmodo). Direct link to QWOP here, good luck (Foddy).

🛳 The first battery-powered tanker is coming to Tokyo. Ironically, it’ll carry marine fuels to refill other cargo ships… but hey (ieee.org).

🌶 “What normally “not breakfast” foods do you like to eat for breakfast?” I’ll add one I didn’t see in there: a big ol’ raw red pepper (r/askreddit).

🔴 Weird Wednesday
Mars Perseverance
NASA/Perseverance

Something entertaining happening at the moment is the general rejection of Mars. You know, when good things happen like a rover landing, and NASA mission control being happy, there’s sometimes a blast of reality. Someone zags where the others have zigged.

The discourse evolution is that Mars is actually not really very good. In fact, it is a hellhole(The Atlantic).

Musk reads from [Carl] Sagan’s book: “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate.”

But there Musk cuts himself off and begins to laugh. He says with incredulity, “This is not true. This is false––Mars.”

He couldn’t be more wrong. Mars? Mars is a hellhole. The central thing about Mars is that it is not Earth, not even close.

A hellhole? Well:

Mars has a very thin atmosphere; it has no magnetic field to help protect its surface from radiation from the sun or galactic cosmic rays; it has no breathable air and the average surface temperature is a deadly 80 degrees below zero. Musk thinks that Mars is like Earth? For humans to live there in any capacity they would need to build tunnels and live underground, and what is not enticing about living in a tunnel lined with SAD lamps and trying to grow lettuce with UV lights? 

Does that mean there’s no point in colonizing Mars? No! I basically disagree with the spicy take. I don’t think anyone thinks Mars is going to be the next summer beach holiday destination, but the tech required to get to Mars, what might come of it, the journey, the unrelated discoveries that will come of the efforts… that’s the reason.

Also, Kurzgesagt says it better than I can — Building a Marsbase is a Horrible Idea: Let’s do it! (YouTube). NASA’s Dr Robert Zubrin has a really entertaining fast set of answers, too (YouTube).

 

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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