Here at TDC – like many in the drone world – we’re scratching our heads. Wondering, wondering, wondering what the company plans to release next week.
On the one hand, we know it’s a drone. The image tweeted Thursday clearly shows a motor and part of a propeller. But how big is the motor? What kind of drone is it?
We don’t know. But – like everyone else on the internet – we’ll take a stab at some speculation. Let’s start by having a look at the original tweet:
— DJI Enterprise (@DJIEnterprise) February 23, 2017
If we ignore the teaser image for the moment, there are a couple of clues here. First, the unveil is taking place at #MWC17, the hashtag for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event bills itself as “the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry.” That leads us to speculate that perhaps this is a drone controlled by phone alone.
If so, that could mean DJI is going to offer an entry-level, phone-controlled drone to compete with models like the $499 Yuneec Breeze…
…or the $349 Zerotech Dobby – both of which are smaller and less expensive machines. This is a product category DJI has left largely untouched, but which appears to be growing. People seem to love tiny drones, especially ones that can take selfies.
While we like that theory, we’re also somewhat thrown by the industrial look of the image, and the fact it was tweeted by the @DJIEnterprise account. Enterprise is the public face of DJI’s more industrial side – meaning products like the crop-spraying MG-1 Agras, or the Matrice series.
But while a more industrial model fits with the fact the tweet came from the Enterprise account – it doesn’t necessarily fit with the Mobile World Congress. Maybe, if it was an industrial machine suitable for inspecting cellular towers etc. But it would seem likely there are far better venues for such an announcement.
Finally, let’s not forget that DJI can be very clever when it comes to how it teases new products. In the period leading up to a launch last September in Berlin, the company ran this image:
Take a good look at that. Mean anything? Perhaps not.
But now think of the product that was launched on that occasion: The Osmo Mobile. Now, have another look at the image. Obtuse, yes, but it’s clearly a stylized representation of the Osmo handle with a smartphone mounted on top. So clever, you might even say it’s Beyond Smart – lol.
Except on this occasion, DJI isn’t teasing us with abstract art. It’s showing us an image of a motor and a whisper of a prop. It’s black and industrial looking. What is it?
We don’t know. But, based on the fact it’s being announced at the Mobile World Congress, we’re going to speculate it’s a smaller drone where your smartphone serves as the remote.
Remember – that’s just a guess. We could well be wrong.
Be patient. We’ll all find out….next week.
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