DJI won't let you fly your Spark drone without a safety update

It's to prevent dangerous in-flight shutdowns.

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Jon Fingas
August 22nd, 2017
In this article: dji, drone, gear, robots, safety, spark, update

DJI is no stranger to imposing limits on drones unless you take certain actions, and that's truer than ever right now. The company is releasing new firmware for the Spark this week to tackle problems with in-flight shutdowns, and it's giving users an ultimatum: if you don't update the aircraft or battery by September 1st, the drone won't take off. The company says it made the judgment call to "maximize flight safety and product reliability."

It's not hard to see why DJI would make this particular upgrade mandatory. It doesn't want to risk even the slightest possibility of a drone injuring people as it crashes to the ground. However, this is bound to be slightly disconcerting if you're an owner. Effectively, DJI has full control over whether or not your drone works. The company isn't likely to abuse that power (it has strong incentives to keep you flying), but it gives the impression that you don't really own your drone -- you're just paying for permission to fly it.

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