Much has been made about the usefulness of the drone in todays society. Hardly a day goes by without hearing about these aerial robots in the news, on TV or social media. Hardly a new thing though, the military have been using drones for reconnaissance and as a weapons platform for years. It is over the last few years that commercially available models have flooded onto the consumer market.
Annoying the Wife
Drones available for the public can be as small as two inches across or smaller with no useful purpose other than to herd pets into a corner and annoy the wife. Don’t get me wrong, I like these little plastic and metal insects and we regularly fly them around the office in a competition to see who can be the most annoying. (It’s Brett by the way).
The Aerial Selfie
Go to any technology show or gadget exhibition and you will see what the more sophisticated drone has to offer. Marvel at the way five or six drones display synchronised movements in an awesome “dance” routine and being controlled using an iPad, very impressive. For an outlay of around £300 you can get yourself a reasonable drone equipped with a camera and GPS so you don’t lose it. This takes high level photography to a whole new level. Taking aerial shots of your home has never been so easy. In fact, a company has started funding for a drone that will give you an all round aerial selfie. It can auto fly and auto land if it flies out of range. Makes the current selfie stick seem pretty useless.
Our lady friends don’t miss out either, one company is manufacturing a pink model. Don’t think drones are just for the guys, apparently pink is very popular amongst the fairer sex.
Marketing by Drones?
So what about marketing? How long before we see drones being used to advertise products. The old method which is trailing a banner behind a light aircraft with your advert lovingly crafted on it wouldn’t even get off the ground (Pun intended). However, by projecting your ad on a building wall with a high definition laser installed under a drone is a different matter altogether. Any open air event and some internal ones come to that can be used to show information or adverts to a captive audience. Adverts can be programmed remotely whilst the drone is in the air and so offers maximum flexibility.
So what are the down sides? Flying time is one issue, many drones can only operate for a few minutes before it either needs a change of battery or a recharge. As a rule, the more you pay for a drone, the longer a battery lasts. The second problem is privacy, a camera at altitude is going to, at some time, infringe on someones right to privacy. The third issue is regulation. Where you can fly and where you can’t. There was a report recently of a drone fling into an airports airspace. You can only imagine how that might have ended.
So, good for fun, useful for blowing up enemy military installations, great for aerial photography and apparently the best remote controlled selfie stick on the market. Is it the next big thing for marketing? The Jurys still out on that one.