Drones are a lot of fun. So let’s talk drones. In fact, maybe your photog friend has already tried to have that conversation with you. Or maybe you shared some Facebook post about Amazon Prime Air, which you thought looked really cool. We should all really be paying more attention to drones, because of all the technologies expected to change our day to day lives, drones may be among the most significant. More so than say, 3D printing, virtual reality, or smart homes. Why is that?
Drones are popular now with hobbyists, but this does not reflect the real potential of drones. In fact, this can’t even really be considered an early adopter market, because future applications of drones will look vastly different. This is for two reasons. The first is because drones will largely be the domain of large corporations. Companies jump on any opportunity to reduce costs, and drones provide a wonderful opportunity. Domino’s Pizza is seeking to use drones for pizza delivery. Add drones, and the cost of cars and delivery people disappear. Google is looking to use them to distribute 5G internet. Then there are the dozens of other applications for drones in everything from agriculture to law enforcement. Essentially, instead of selling drones, companies will use drones to provide services to customers. While a technology like 3D printing has fantastic potential as well, it will be hard to coax the consumer into buying it at first. However, in many drone based services, the consumer will have to do very little. Press a button, and a drone stops by your house with a pizza. Get into a private drone taxi, and enjoy the view.
The second reason involves crime (“A couple of guys, who were up to no good, started flying drones around the neighborhood”). Drones have vast potential to be misused, whether that use be spying, theft, or targeted assassination. Aviation authorities are already on edge when it comes to drones, just ask Amazon. I recommend checking out this really cool thread on reddit about drone crime. Because of the risks associated with them, having a world where everybody has private drones doing chores for them seems unlikely for now.
What makes drone technology so significant is that it makes our life more seamless. It’s like The Flash compared to a regular person; it does nothing special, other than quicken our pace of life.
Imagine this: you’re sitting at home wearing virtual reality goggles. You’re in a virtual store looking through items on the shelves as if you were actually there. You see something you like. You press a button, and drone picks up that item from a warehouse five miles away, and delivers it to your doorstep. That technology is already here, and it could change our lives. Go up, young man.