A year ago I thought drones were stupid and overhyped. They crashed, they were expensive, and there wasn’t much use for them.
This year I got to spend time flying drones with Chris Anderson at 3DR’s HQ in Berkeley. They’re located in the middle of an industrial park reminiscent of the original Terminator set — it’s awesome.
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After seeing his latest product I’m 100% convinced that drones are nearly ready for prime time.
Using a drone in 2015 is like using a VHS recorder in 1985: you look like a huge attention-seeking dork, but everyone wants to talk to you about the technology. My Great Uncle Joe DeFalco used to be the family “VHS recording dork” at the drunken McCabe/Kennedy holiday parties in Brooklyn and Jersey, walking up to everyone yelling “Identify yourself!”
It was like being interrogated by the Stasi, but despite how annoying he was, those tapes are invaluable today.
30 years later we all have an HD camera in our pockets and are creating walls of video recordings at amusement parks. In fact, you could fit about 50 mobile phones in amount of space that an old VHS tape took up.
There are three reasons I think drones are no longer toys:
- They are dead simple to fly
- They don’t require massive maintenance & assembly
- The “prosumer grade” ones are now $1,000
- Commercial applications are everywhere
- Regulation is reaching reasonable