Striding out of 2019, we left many trends behind but the time of the drone is not even remotely over. What are drones?
Formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), they are basically pilotless aircraft flown with remote controller or through software controlled flight plans and GPS.
Drones are where it’s at
The market for drones started to grow rapidly since the emergence of the user-friendly AR drone in 2010, but it was 2015 when commercial use really took off. So far the uses of drones have included inspection of services, wild life watching, fire and rescue, crop spraying etc – all commercial uses. But according to research from Gartner, UAVs purchased for shooting pictures and videos- make up 94% of the market, with a 60% spike in 2016 and a further 39% 2017. After leaps as large as these, one might wonder if the fire is starting to die down. While we may never know for certain, Gartner said in a press release. Personal drones will continue to increase in popularity as an affordable extension of consumers 39%; smartphones for taking photographs and selfies and for other entertainment options.
Reasons to own a personal drone
- Give your photography/photography business an edge. With the current market for event photography steadily growing, a drone with a camera with it’s aerial photos and videography can give you that edge over your competitors and offer your client a more rounded package.
- Up your game on social media. The best way to gain followers on social media is through posting high-quality pictures and videos and a UAV could make you a one-upper.
- Indulge your inner secret agent. Growing up with movies like spy kids and tv shows such as Chuck or Totally Spies, you cannot deny that there exists even a tiniest part of you that dreams of super car chases, ultra-suave suits and who could ever forget the fancy gadgets. The speedy car chases may not be guaranteed but that fancy gadget can be.
- Fly through the air from under the comfort of your blankets. One of the cooler features of the more high-end drones on the market is the ability to live stream your flight footage right to your mobile device. This is called FPV (First Person View). This allows you to see what it would be like to fly through the air. There are even FPV-dedicated goggles that you can wear to isolate the view.
- They are becoming more affordable. Consumer drones are now available for prices starting from as low as $40 to as expensive as $3000 and higher. There are many vendors who sell drones for kids, they are completely safe and kid friendly.
- For fun. Because, duh!
Before buying a Drone!!
Now before you can go rushing off to get your own, we need to put you through UAV 101.
Some must-knows and quick pointers as to what one should expect and what one may look for:
- Not all drones are ready to fly–
Ready to fly (RTF): A RTF drone comes complete with everything you need to fly. Typically, you will be required to do some assembly, but this is limited to attaching propellers and plugging in batteries.
Bind and fly (BNF): a more experienced drone flyer may have their own controller or even a custom built ground control-system. For this reason, some drones are available as a drone-only package. BNF simply means you need to bind your drone to your controller before you can start flying.
- Not all drones have camera support
- Not all drones are easy to fly but all drones are easy to crash
- Everyone that can operate an android or IOS device can operate a quad-copter but this does not make them full-proof.
- Operating drones with even the most advanced technologies will require some knowledge unless crashing or losing your drone is not an issue to you.
- Drone types vary.
- Drone types include camera drones, commercial drones, racing drones and toy drones.
- Each country has specific laws for flying drones.
With companies such as DJI, Yuneec, Parrot, Blade and GOPRO coming out with cutting edge new models, there is a lot for drone users/ enthusiasts to get excited about in 2018.
Written by Amana Iftekha