Drones are one of the most fascinating technologies that have recently made their mainstream entry. The US government has been heavily using these unmanned aerial vehicles for military purposes, but many businesses have now also started to harness the commercial potential of the GPS-controlled aircraft.
While it seems that drones will remain a hot subject for many years to come, their future is still uncertain.
The Future of the Unmanned Aircraft
There are no clear regulations on the usage of drones and the way this technology is going to develop in the future is still a matter of speculations.
The US government has announced that it will not issue specific regulations until 2017 and other countries are waiting for the States to set the example.
Moreover, while the technology has marked a significant advancement over the past couple of years, it is still far from being developed entirely.
The futurist and journalist Zoltan Istvan commented on Vice that the next decade will be the dawn of the drones so compact and lightweight that people will even be able to carry them in their pockets. Istvan unraveled his prognosis even further by saying that these gadgets will one day replace the smartphones.
The flying aircraft of the future will offer many other applications in addition to cameras. But how are people going to put them to use?
There could be a myriad of reasons why people would like to possess a drone, the futurist explains. Parents could use these flying machines to observe their children on their way to school and make sure they arrive safely.
A drone could also be used to figure out whether the mail has arrived or if the home of its owner is safe.
In addition to everyday use, they can also become an essential part of the delivery business. Amazon, for example, plans to introduce drones that are going to deliver items that weigh up to five pounds in a radius of 10 miles. The company states that the innovation will help Amazon deliver its products in less than 30 minutes.
This way of delivery will not only be much faster than the usage of trucks but will also make the company’s services more environmentally-friendly.
The news and entertainment media professionals are also eager to integrate drones in their everyday professional life. In the near future, they will be used for news gathering, photography and filmmaking.
The unique angle of footage that unmanned aircraft can capture is very likely to revolutionize the media industry forever.
Yet another application of drones in the future might be their use for safety purposes. They can replace cameras in public places and lead to a great decrease in crime rates.
The Possible Dangers
While the increasing popularity of drones undoubtedly brings many benefits, it can also hold some significant dangers. Istvan argues that the airctaft can easily be misused in a number of ways. Jealous people could turn those into stalking devices. Criminals could use them to pick up drugs.
Even landlords may start using personal drones to spy on their tennats. Unless there are appropriate regulations on the drone usage, this technology might easily become a way of violating personal privacy and major human rights.
Another possible negative aspect is the annoyance and stress their popularity would bring. This would be an especially big issue in public spaces such as stadiums, cafés, commercial outlets and stations.
The companies developing drones and the government will face the difficult task of coming up with strict privacy policies to ensure the comfort of people.
The regulations, however, are still far from being clearly defined. There’s a plan in the US to require for drone pilots to have traditional pilot training. Many see this requirement as burdening and unnecessary and claim that it makes drones available only to the rich.
While wealthy people can afford to become pilots or hire such, people possessing limited resources will not be able to take advantage of the drone technology.
According the Istvan, it is exactly the decreasing size of the drones that might facilitate the development of this technology, its availability to a larger number of people and its commercial use.
Smaller and lighter drones that fly lower than their bigger counterparts might be considered safer, classified differently and operated via fewer restrictions, according to Istvan.
The bottom line is that the drone technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Its future may still be unclear but one this is certain – drone developments are proving so far to be extremely exciting. Who knows, maybe in a few years, everyone will carry their own personal drone in their pocket.