from the we'll-do-what-we-want-or-not dept.
Days ago, South Korean authorities announced that they'd capture any drone that got too close to Olympics event facilities. If you have a DJI-made craft, you won't even be able to get close. The UAV maker is releasing a software patch that creates a no-fly zone around Olympic areas.
For the duration of the games, DJI drones won't be able to fly through areas in the South Korean cities of Pyeongchang, Gangneung, Bongpyeong and Jeongseon.
"Safety is DJI's top priority and we've always taken proactive steps to educate our customers to operate within the law and where appropriate, implement temporary no-fly zones during major events," the company said in a statement, according to TechCrunch. "We believe this feature will reduce the potential for drone operations that could inadvertently create safety or security concerns."
DJI Innovations, the leading manufacturer of drones, launched a beta version of its new "geofencing" system that should keep its drones from flying into restricted airspace. The new feature is called Geospatial Environment Online (GEO), and it will let users know about areas where drone flight is restricted, either due to regulations or because of safety issues.
GEO will stop DJI drones from taking off in restricted areas like airports, Washington D.C., and temporarily restricted areas such as places near forest fires or big stadium events. Sensitive areas around prisons and power plants will be off limits in the system as well.
DJI owners can temporarily opt out of GEO and unlock some of the flight restrictions, but there's a catch. They must have verified accounts with the company, with a credit card, debit card, or cellphone number on file. Users cannot turn off all the flight restrictions though; places like Washington D.C. will remain completely off limits.
DJI Spark drones will not fly after September 1 until users have applied a mandatory software update:
DJI Spark drones will not fly after 1 September unless owners apply a mandatory software update, the device's maker has warned. DJI said the update to the small drone's core software fixes some flight control issues suffered by the gadget.
The drone maker said it had warned owners about the deadline so they could avoid having their craft grounded. But the mandatory update has caused some owners to question the control DJI retains over their devices.
In a statement, DJI said the update would improve how the Spark manages power. It also helps it work with smart spectacles that give owners an immersive view of what the drone films. It added: "If the firmware of either the aircraft or the battery is not updated by September 1, Spark will not be able to take off."