Unless you’re DJI, it seems innovating in the drone industry is a tough task.
With the close of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week came a slew of new drone announcements. Autel’s Evo drone looked eerily like the DJI Mavic, though it did have what looked like could be improvements.
And another drone to attempt to make a big splash at CES, without adding a whole lot? The Mystic, by a company new to the drone industry called Airlango.
It “comes with a range of innovative features – including the ability to recognize and follow its owner, and obey hand-gesture commands from the ground,” according to a news release issued by the company.
Of course, plenty of drones, including DJI’s Spark, already do that.
Mystic’s capabilities include an autonomous follow-me feature and a gesture interaction mode that can perform tasks based on your gestures. The marketing material also points out an owner recognition mode, through which the drone can automatically recognize its owner.
The Mystic drone is made by Beijing-based company Airlango, which was founded in 2015.
Pricing details and a launch date for the Airlango Mystic have yet to be announced.
So will the Mystic, or other drones like the Autel Evo have a chance to create some competition against DJI? If history is your guide, then likely not.
“Drone hardware development is very difficult and resource-intensive,” Autel Robotics USA CEO Steve McIrvin said last year (he has since left the company after the North American division went through a series of layoffs. “You have to be on the cutting edge of so many different fields—cameras, computer vision, deep learning, artificial intelligence—all highly technical fields.”