Published: July 21, 2014
When most people think ‘drones,’ chances are their minds still conjure up an action-packed sci fi film complete with scary robots and futuristic societies. But as technology continues to advance and drones continue to pop up in the media, their shift from fiction is quickly turning to reality.
Drones are growing in popularity pretty much everywhere, from journalism to business to science – quickly turning from “toy” to something with substantial opportunity and value. In explaining what a drone entails, PC Mag shares, “There isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room between toy helicopters/quadricopters and enthusiast remote controlled helicopters. The former are inexpensive toys that often cost less than $100 and are often really difficult to fly. The latter are extremely expensive devices for hobbyists that require a lot of room and safety precautions. Smaller, amateur drones sits in the middle; it’s a quadricopter you control with your smartphone or tablet.”
A year and a half ago, my interest in drones led to the purchase of my Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. At first, the allure came with the shiny new technology and the chance to play around with new software to control the device.
After all, it has proven:
- Extremely easy to fly
- Adaptable to different software – you can use apps on laptops, mobile phones, or tablets to control the drone.
- Quality when it comes to entry level camera and sensors that come equipped with the device
What I quickly realized, however, is the potential that drones and other devices coined as artificial intelligence (they know, in a sense, what they’re doing) have when it comes to business implications.
The Rise of the Drones
Aside from hobby use and play, drones have a unique potential to change the technological landscape, especially when it comes to gathering content or performing certain tasks with great efficiency and little effort.
In the near future, with the current (affordable) drones on the market, business can:
- Record or Take Still Shots – Taking video or photos from a different perspective puts a new and unique spin on exploring products like heavy equipment prior to product launch or at any point when it comes to content gathering and marketing.
- Carry Things – Some small drones on the market, like the newer version of the Parrot AR coming out in a few months, have the ability to pick up and deliver things. Think big like carrying around parts in a factory or a little smaller like cross-office mail delivery.
Whatever the purpose, the primary value in a drone is its ability to learn and adjust to its surroundings over time. Using software and infrared signals to know its current position and surroundings gives it the ability to detect things and fly accordingly.
When Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon was testing the idea of delivering packages via drones, he made drones with popular commercial application suddenly seem like a viable proposition.
According to Business Insider, “While drones are unlikely to become a part of our daily lives in the immediate future, they will soon begin taking on much larger roles for businesses and some individual consumers, from delivering groceries to revolutionizing private security, to changing the way farmers manage their crops — perhaps even aerial advertising. We predict that 12% of an estimated $98 billion in cumulative global spending on aerial drones over the next decade will be for commercial purposes.”
Are you ready?