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At CES we said we’d be dropping the release of Solo 2.0 this spring. We’re excited to say we’ve beaten that deadline by a month and nine days. Right? It’s a leap year, so, I don’t know. How does math work again?

Solo 2.0 offers a suite of new software that makes Solo more useful, more safe, more powerful and an overall a more advanced drone. The update means Solo has grown beyond the drone category and established itself as the first consumer drone platform.

This release introduces powerful new Smart Shot functionality that not only makes getting cinematic video easier than ever but expands the storytelling possibilities for a single user with a creative mind. Check out the details below, and happy flying!

Multipoint Cable cam

Multipoint gives you even more confidence and creative control over your shots — control you simply can’t get with any other drone.

MPCC (simply the new version of Cable cam; it’s labeled “Cable cam” in the Smart Shots menu) revamps Cable cam’s original design. Instead of a two-frame, beginning-to-end narrative, now set up cables with an unlimited number of keyframes. Just like the original release, take your time to set each frame perfectly, at any point in space, looking any direction you want. Press A to set the keyframe, then fly on to where you want to create the next one and repeat as many times as you need. The onboard computer is like a photographic memory that takes a snapshot of each keyframe, connecting the dots with a virtual cable. Press play and Solo guides the copter and the camera from frame to frame, automatically adding curves to each point so your video is professional and polished. Or fly Solo along the cable yourself, controlling direction and speed — or control the camera as Solo flies the cable. In fact, flying the cable yourself is a great way to get a feel for where the curves are and the course your copter and camera will take as they round them.

Importantly, Solo also saves every cable you create, so you can return to fly your favorites or quickly and easily switch between shots at the same location. Just open your “saved shots,” select the one you want, and you’ll see a blue circle. This is your target for the first frame. Fly into the circle and the app guides you to the right altitude; Solo will lock into the first frame from there, and you’re good to go.

Lastly, you can also toggle a new time lapse function, which lets you tell Solo to fly cables at incredibly slow speeds. Flying manually at precise and invariable slow speeds — with cinematic grace — is nearly impossible, but with Solo it’s as easy as a tap.

Follow with Free Look

3DR developed the first-ever “follow-me” drone, and our Follow technology remains the most advanced of any drone on the market. For Solo 2.0 we took the Free Look feature — already available in Cable cam and Orbit — and applied it to Follow.

Free Look turns Follow into an interactive filming experience: When you enter Free Look, Solo still follows your subject, but you now have full control of the camera. Pan and tilt freely to look anywhere you want while remaining completely confident in Solo’s position and directional heading. It’s similar to the Hollywood motion control of a camera boom on the back of a truck: Virtually leash Solo to one vehicle, and swivel and tilt the camera manually to track the movements of even the most spontaneous subject.

Plus, if Solo isn’t exactly where you need it to be, Free Look also allows you to adjust the copter’s position in space with a nudge of the controls. When you know exactly where the camera will be, you can plan shots with confidence and also react in the moment.

For a great example of how great Free Look works in action, check out the video above at about 3:26.

Flight Zone Safety Information

We collaborated with airspace safety information provider to incorporate real-time flight zone information into the Solo app. The app shows basic airspace information all around the world, alerting you if you’re about to fly in or near restricted airspace. Tap the alert to bring up a map of the area with all restricted airspace clearly marked. Head to a clear area or, if you’re near an airport, the app will show you the phone number for the control tower so you can call them up and request clearance.

Welcome to Solo, season two.