Magenta 5G drone set to provide live HD footage of sporting events
While drone racing is becoming increasingly popular as a televised sport, the grainy and glitchy live video from the drones' onboard cameras still leaves something to be desired. T-Mobile and The Drone Racing League (DRL) have set about addressing that problem, with a new 5G racing drone.
The Magenta 5G Drone is a compact quadcopter that delivers over 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) of thrust. It has a flight time of five minutes per charge of its lithium-polymer battery, which is reportedly sufficient for it to fly through an entire mile-long course at speeds of over 60 mph (96.5 km/h).
The copter is equipped with a 5G module, along with both FPV (first person view) and HD cameras. Real-time video from the latter will be streamed to broadcasters via T-Mobile's 5G wireless network, for inclusion in live coverage of drone races during the DRL's 2021-2022 season.
That being said, the aircraft could also be utilized in other sports.
In fact, its first public flight will take place on Aug. 12th in the city of Dyersville, Iowa, when it will be used in the televised coverage of the T-Mobile-sponsored "MLB at Field of Dreams" major league baseball game. Instead of shooting the actual gameplay itself, though, the drone will instead provide viewers with a live view of the surrounding cornfields, flying on to the house and ball field used in the movie Field of Dreams, then finally arriving at the actual MLB ball field.
Once the Magenta drone technology is developed further, it may also be utilized to provide drone racing pilots with better-quality FPV video. Currently, in order to keep latency to a minimum, pilots fly their drones using relatively low-quality video that's transmitted to their goggles via analog radio signals.
There's more information in the following video.
In related news, French drone manufacturer Parrot recently announced its ANAFI Ai quadcopter, which automatically switches over to 4G cellular data when its Wi-Fi connection is disrupted.