As the size and cost of electronic components reduced, the use case for drones expanded. As noted by Visual Capitalist, new drone technology includes motion tracking sensors, solar-power cells, thermal scanning and 3D mapping all backed by robust Wi-Fi connections. So it’s no surprise that in 2010 a consumer drone was released — the Parrot AR — which has spawned a host of imitators, innovations, and improvements over the last seven years. In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced plans to have his company deliver packages by air. While he’s run into difficulties with the FAA, the project remains in development.
Mobile surveillance is another growth area for drones. Given their lighter weight and increased battery life combined with the reduced size and weight of Wi-Fi cameras, it’s now possible to leverage drones as reliable, real-time security and project surveillance for construction projects, parking lots and car dealerships. Instead of relying on fixed cameras with limited fields of vision, drones can quickly survey any part of a construction site or parking lot. Add in 3D site-mapping to create jobsite documentation and project milestone records, or thermal imaging to help track down suspicious activity in parking lots after-hours.
Drone services have evolved from scientific curiosity to wartime mainstay to consumer and commercial products. While hobbyists continue to register with the FAA and the military develops new unmanned technology, the evolution of mobile surveillance drones makes them cost-effective, high-impact solutions to improve commercial security and oversight.