I had a close encounter with a drone yesterday. While shooting a TV segment at CES 2015, a drone pilot was having fun buzzing my head from his smartphone in the middle of a live shot!
Last year, the drones were aspirational, more like toys. This year, it’s a different story. These things are ready for prime time.
Drones will become commonplace this year
Why would a consumer want a drone? For aerial filming. For the ability to mount your GoPro and send it up in the sky. Filmmakers and photographers are finding this is a low cost way to get into aerial photography, according to Jess Perez, media spokeswoman for drone manufacturer EHang.
EHang makes the Ghost Drone which starts at $375.
This device is connected to your smartphone by app and you can fly it just by pulling up Google Maps and dragging your finger to a location on the map. Then the Ghost Drone will auto-pilot itself to that location!
As for business uses, Perez says she knows of a solar company that uses drones to monitor their solar fields. Real estate is another really big category. Agriculture too.
The idea of Amazon delivering packages by drone is not too far off, much like Domino’s Pizza has done in a test. Perez’s friend even had a drone deliver a cup of coffee as he was paddling on Lake Tahoe!