I think I may have missed the point of this whole commercial drone revolution. Up to this point I have seen drones as a photography platform – but for commercial use kind of a niche product (i.e. real estate virtual tours, crop photography, etc).
However I am seeing some new applications that are starting to change my thinking. There is a lot of money going into flying drone applications, and I think someone will hit upon a mass market product. Take a look at these examples:
- Hoverbike Drone 3 – for $15oo you can buy a drone that can carry 10 pounds. That could have a number of interesting home and industrial usages at that price point. The perfect gift for the homeowner – add on components could perhaps clean those upper story windows, trim branches on tall trees, clean the gutters with an on board vacuum system?
- Hoverbike Helicopter – the same company is building and taking pre-orders for a drone that can carry up to 200lbs 100 miles or 45 minutes. In theory a ride-able drone – think Star Wars:
- Here is an example of another prototype of a ride-able that set the Guinness world record for flight distance:
- Finally, my favorite new drone based camera – check out this video from Lily – this sure makes a Go-Pro camera seem so-20th-century.:
So these few examples show that with all the money pouring into commercial drone technology, there are some interesting future possibilities. There are still lots of regulatory issues and societal issues with the annoyance factor of drones, perhaps that will be the biggest short term obstacle. But is it out of the realm of possibility, that in 10 or 15 years – the drone will be as ubiquitous as a cell phone?