The world has been experiencing the growth of smartphone popularity, a technology which has changed our lives drastically during the last ten years. Probably in the near future human beings will be ousted by robots and Artificial Intelligence. But the next decade will definitely be a decade of drones.
Both large companies and ordinary users will be able to afford to buy drones due to extensive manufacturing. Powerful batteries will increase the time UAVs can spend in the air. Drones are expected to become independent, and turn into life-changing sky robots. What will be their application?
It comes without saying, one of the primary functions of drones is delivering goods. And Amazon is undoubtedly a pioneer in this industry. Rest assured, sooner or later other delivery companies will follow this example; they will use drones to bring products and small items to their customers’ homes. They may struggle to fulfill same day chilled delivery of perishables, but in most cases, courier drones will be incredibly useful.
Look up. Now you can see just few drones in the sky. But in a decade people will have to launch a drone managing system to avoid crashes. Actually, a draft project of such system is already is the works by Amazon. The idea is to divide aerial space into two zones (so called “corridors”). The lower one (below 60m) will be used by drones of moderate speed covering short distances while drones traveling for long distances will be able to fly in the higher one (60m+). These devices shouldn’t exceed the limit of 120m height to avoid crashes with planes. And of course, navigation systems should be improved for the same reason.
Think of two devices a journalist uses. Let me guess – did you think about a camera and a voice recorder? Probably a smartphone? But in a year or two you won’t be able to imagine a journalist without a drone. Lots of investigative reports are already using drones for aerial shooting. It’s no wonder Missouri University has introduced a drone course on its journalism faculty.
Nowadays only big news agencies use drones to report on natural catastrophes, wars or riots but who knows, maybe tomorrow even boring local events won’t do without drones.
Aerial shooting is a big advantage, but there is one more thing journalists appreciate above all. Drones are quick, and there are no traffic jams in the sky so they will get to the needed place faster than a car with a shooting team in a big city.
And again, imagine a big city during rush hour, with ambulances in traffic jams… Drones are essential to save lives. And this drone, Ambulance Drone, has been already built in the Netherlands. One can find the necessary set of medical devices aboard, including a defibrillator in case of cardiac arrest. The only thing you need is to dial a number. But the drone just carries medical equipment, so there still needs to be human on the scene to provide first aid according to a doctor’s instructions given by phone. The drone is equipped with a microphone, speaker and camera.
Humanity has finally gotten its chance to turn deserts into blossoming gardens and fields. Tackling the problem of irrigation now is easier than ever before due to agricultural drones. Both delivering water and irrigation can be done with the use of UAVs controlled via mobile app. No time to go to your field and check if the crop is ok? Again, drones are here at your service to do the job instead. Moreover, this device conducts soil analysis or scanning crops for pests and infections. Mapping software for agricultural drones will be able to collect data about fertilizers’ effect on plants and predict poor outcomes.
You don’t need to be a fortune-teller to predict the behavior of an average tourist. Every person wants to take pics of the major attractions or use these attractions as a background for selfies. No matter how long your monopod is you are still not able to capture the whole scenery. Selfie-drones are gradually entering everyday life; you can see them flying above places of interest. Don’t want to spend money on buying one? Rent it!
The pace of mobile software development is so fast that soon it’ll be enough merely to open an app, make an order and a drone will come to you in no time to make a great photo. This app is supposed to choose the best angle for a shot too, so you don’t need to worry over such trifles.
Sounds impossible? Swiss ski resort Verbier is among the first to adopt this novelty. Despite takeoff and landing still being controlled by a pilot, this drone follows a person who rented it to make videos and pictures. And in 2 hours you get your media materials!
However, mind that the resort banned using personal drones in light of security considerations.
We are addicted to our smartphones, and they have become a part of our lives as they give us lots of conveniences. Communication, photos, videos, games, books… The list of options is immense. Soon drones will become smart as well, giving us a chance to take selfies from a height or find the way home in new place, be it a city or a forest. Wanna check a road for traffic jams? Send your drone ahead your car and get the info in no time.
Drones as wearables? Why not? Have a look at Nixie resembling a wristwatch. Wear your drone or simply pack it into the car trunk, and it will be able to keep you company any time you need it.
But let’s put our jokes and predictions aside; here is a proof that drones are entering our routine – regulations. Want to fly a drone? Then you need to pass an exam and get a certificate. Authorities have even passed special laws to control drone usage. No cakewalk!
By Julia Kravchenko
Partner at Qubit Labs, tech-savvy blogger interested in IT.