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BBC News: DJI makes app to identify drones and find pilots.

Rwarrior

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Apr 13, 2018
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BBC News: DJI makes app to identify drones and find pilots.

Hmmm.... I'm undecided if this is a positive step...
lots of potential for mistaken vigilante action.
What do you all think?

Cbeers
 

SoccerRef12

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Jul 5, 2019
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I don't know anything more than the headlines, but I assume it would alert you to the fact that there was a drone nearby and possibly the direction. I'm ok with that.
 

I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
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Two things:

1."DJI told the BBC it could add the functionality to drones already on the market via a software update."

2. "He added that DJI has not yet decided whether it will force its customers to install the update."

Could it be that DJI could "force" an installation and, by extension, brick any user's drone if not in compliance? The implications could impact 3rd party apps and mods such as 2.0.
 

theDRONEranger

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Jul 24, 2019
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Is it really a bad thing? Just thinking how many apps exist already for tracking all the aircraft around the world. FLIGHTAWARE, FLIGHTTRACKER, etc, etc. I use a flight tracking app when friends and relatives fly into KCOS.
 

I B Spectre

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I'm not suggesting flight tracking in itself is a bad thing. I also use Flightaware and FlightTracker, but the aircraft's position data is based off transponder information required to operate in the airspace. My concern is what impact would a DJI update have on existing flight control software. Of course programs such as Litchi, Drone Harmony, Red Waypoint and Dronelink are all based on an SDK provided by DJI. I'd imagine if DJI decided to release an update that provided said tracking capability, it's likely those 3rd party programs would not be compatible, at least not for awhile. My second concern is whether DJI exercises the update as mandatory and would apply to legacy and current drones. If you're using one of the aforementioned flight planning programs for a project, you're out of business until such times as they can be made compatible. Do you think if DJI "decided...(to) force its customers to install the update", means they could/would render any non-updated drone inoperable?
 

RotorWash

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BBC News: DJI makes app to identify drones and find pilots.

Hmmm.... I'm undecided if this is a positive step...
lots of potential for mistaken vigilante action.
What do you all think?

Cbeers
Interesting point re: vigilante. I'd agree, since the info will be open to anyone, anytime via a simple app, I think there will be some (rightly or wrongly) heated confrontations ahead. Does the safety aspect outweigh any of the possible negatives, I'm thinking it should but time will tell and it's looking like it's a ways off yet, mostly due to delayed regulations.
 
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RotorWash

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I don't know anything more than the headlines, but I assume it would alert you to the fact that there was a drone nearby and possibly the direction. I'm ok with that.
"The (DJI) firm explained: "Using a simple app, anyone within radio range of the drone can receive that signal and learn the location, altitude, speed and direction of the drone, as well as an identification number for the drone and the location of the pilot.""

Kinda like FlightRadar for drones but no internet needed.
 

RotorWash

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I'm not suggesting flight tracking in itself is a bad thing. I also use Flightaware and FlightTracker, but the aircraft's position data is based off transponder information required to operate in the airspace. My concern is what impact would a DJI update have on existing flight control software. Of course programs such as Litchi, Drone Harmony, Red Waypoint and Dronelink are all based on an SDK provided by DJI. I'd imagine if DJI decided to release an update that provided said tracking capability, it's likely those 3rd party programs would not be compatible, at least not for awhile. My second concern is whether DJI exercises the update as mandatory and would apply to legacy and current drones. If you're using one of the aforementioned flight planning programs for a project, you're out of business until such times as they can be made compatible. Do you think if DJI "decided...(to) force its customers to install the update", means they could/would render any non-updated drone inoperable?
It's a good point to raise. I'm thinking, since it's a network protocol embedded in firmware it should be able to operate/broadcast independent of the app software above it. Will be interesting to see how this plays out though. I'm a bit concerned on the "hack-ability" of this "Wi-Fi Aware" network, especially since this technology has been planned for many applications outside of drones as well.
 
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twickers14

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Didn’t see that BBC piece. All very interesting but in the context of the general public’s interest in our HOBBY, and that is what it is for me and I suspect most of us, it’s not a massive problem.
 

Vader01

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Apr 2, 2019
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I'm not against an app that shows were a drone is flying and what type of mission it is flying but what bothers me is that it can show the location of the pilot and that is what I'm against. The average "John or Jane Doe" could abuse that if for some reason they are drone "haters" and could make false reports. Also if someone gets upset cause a drone flew over them or is flying in the same area they are in they could get drone rage just like road rage and seek out the pilot and maybe harm them. This could also set us pilots up as "crime victims" for those who want a drone but don't want to buy one. I think law enforcement agencies should be the only ones who could get the app that shows the pilots location but not the general public.
 

Rwarrior

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Apr 13, 2018
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I'm not against an app that shows were a drone is flying and what type of mission it is flying but what bothers me is that it can show the location of the pilot and that is what I'm against. The average "John or Jane Doe" could abuse that if for some reason they are drone "haters" and could make false reports. Also if someone gets upset cause a drone flew over them or is flying in the same area they are in they could get drone rage just like road rage and seek out the pilot and maybe harm them. This could also set us pilots up as "crime victims" for those who want a drone but don't want to buy one. I think law enforcement agencies should be the only ones who could get the app that shows the pilots location but not the general public.
Thanks Vader01, these are exactly my concerns as well, and I totally agree that the app should be in the hands of law enforcement agencies only.
Much like road rage, I fear some members of the public taking the "law" into their own hands if they perceive a pilot is flying in a non-compliant manner, when the flight may actually be legitimate.
I just hope DJI takes these concerns on board before rolling it out.
Cheers
 

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