DJI calls on drone owners to update firmware before 1 September

Owners of Spark quadcopter may that maker DJI is ordering owners of the diminutive drone to update its firmware before 1 September. Users who fail to update the firmware will not be able to fly their drones.

According to reports, a problem with the drone has caused a small number of them to suddenly drop out of the sky. Although DJI does not reference the issue directly, the company said in a blog post yesterday that it had ''decided on the option of a mandatory firmware update in order to maximize flight safety and product reliability.''

According to the Chinese drone giant, its latest firmware update ''enhances Spark's battery management system to optimise power supply during flight.'' According to commentators it was another apparent reference to the possible issue that has been taking down some of these drones.

DJI told Digital Trends in July that it tests its products ''for thousands of hours, and the overwhelming number of customers enjoy using our products with minimal disruption.''

DJI said, "The new firmware update enhances Spark's battery management system to optimise power supply during flight. In addition, the new firmware has added support to fully integrate Spark with the DJI Goggles, optimised the PalmLaunch function for better stability after takeoff, improved the accuracy of controls under the QuickShot Dronie mode and enhanced the compatibility of the remote controller when syncing up with new firmware updates.

According to commentators, while locking users out of their software raised issues, it cannot be denied a blade-spinning drone crashing down presented hazards that no company would like to risk. That applied with added force for a manufacturer which could, in theory, be held liable for a major safety issue.

In a similar step in May, DJI had announced users would be locked out of flight capabilities if they failed to register their devices in its database to ensure software updates would allow users to comply with regional regulations.