They say good things come in small packages, and in the case of the DJI Spark, “they” are absolutely correct.
At first blush it's easy to dismiss the Spark as a “selfie drone,” or a well-appointed toy designed for the masses. The idea that a drone like this could be used for law enforcement may see far-fetched.
But then the proof is in the pudding.
At $499, it’s hard to argue with the price, and as tiny a package as the Spark comes in, it’s hard to complain about it being bulky. It features the ability to fly with your phone as the controller, use of a separate dedicated controller, or with no controller at all – just using your hands and the gesture control mode. It’s got 15-20 minutes of endurance, and has an on-board 1080p camera, forward and downward-facing obstacle avoidance.
So how would one use this in your police department? At this price, I can foresee a day that departments with active drone programs issue one of these for each patrol car to keep in the glovebox as standard gear.
As a SWAT tool, the Spark goes a long way too. Consider a hostage scenario where a gunman has an undisclosed number of hostages. You face the decision of sending officers into a potentially lethal situation simply to gather more information. An alternative method – send in a $499 Spark to gather intelligence, or simply monitor the perimeter to find the best opening.
Hey, and it also comes in 5 pretty colors, so if you like options, you’re covered.