What’s trending now.
Drones, drones, drones. Drones, aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, have been featured in Flux observations before, but this trend has no end in sight. Drones were one of the most popular Christmas presents in 2014, practically a stocking stuffer, so much so that the FAA released a video that proposes best practices to help people “stay off the naughty list” as they play with their airborne gifts. Drones are or will very soon when the red tape and legalities get sorted out be a part of our everyday lives.
Why it’s important
When drones become cheap enough to be stocking fillers we need to take notice. The thing with drones is that they are almost infinitely useful and customisable. People are coming up with everything from the life saving (the Deftikopter drone delivering defibrillators at 43 miles per hour) the useful (Amazon’s soon-to-be 30 minute drone delivery service), the connecting (FACEBOOK’s internet streaming drones), to the artistic and the crazy are using drone technology. Even though Last year the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) clamped down on the use of drones for commercial purposes without a special license, but the drone revolution is unstoppable (and you can still buy one just for personal use anyway.)
The Drone Selfie
All that hassle with a selfie stick or standing in front of the mirror to get the perfect shots of those abs is a thing of the past. Enter the Nixie, the brainchild of researcher Christoph Kohstall, the first wearable drone in the world. This working prototype begins as a bracelet just to fly of your wrist after performing a simple gesture with your arm. Once the device takes off, it knows exactly where you are and takes a HD photo or video of you only then to boomerang back to you. www.flynixie.com
Got an annoying drone hovering over your driveway?
Though still very much in concept stage, this drone is being designed to launch on its own, scan for and identify potential targets, then hover above the offending drone while dangling a small length of string. One of the target drone’s propulsion fans inhales the string, the target drone crashes to the ground, the Rapere returns to its base station, and then everything’s cool and you can go about the rest of your day.
The Parking Drone.
Late for a meeting and worried you won’t find parking? Don’t worry, that drone flying above your car has got your back. Amir Ehsani Zonouz’s concept for “intelligent parking drone technology” to name it the winner of the company’s first-ever Mobility IDEA contest.
The idea is pretty simple: Drones could fly over parking lots and high traffic urban areas, keeping track of available spaces. When someone drives into the area, the drones could signal to the driver. Easy.
Watching never before possible NEWS footage with Drones is already a reality. Several media companies, starting with CNN, announced recently their plans to partner up with the FAA and certain U.S. universities to find ways to safely integrate drones into the newsroom.
After a hard day at the office, maybe take in a drone orchestra? Legendary composer John Cale recently worked with architect Liam Young to create an epic theatrical concert experience using drones. Armed with speakers, the drones were dispatched throughout the space, some of which projected Cale’s live performance, and others which amplified their own mechanical noises. The drones were dressed fashionably, wearing bright green and blue plumage, a coat made from 500 phone charms sourced from Chinese markets, a box-like structure decorated with hazard tape, and even a shiny disco suit made from 4,000 fake nails,
Forget about the beer delivering drones at Oppikoppi last year, we need champagne when at the orchestra! The Cosmopolitan Marquee Dayclub in Las Vegas, Nevada launched a poolside bottle service. It will only cost you a mere $20 000 bar tab and a day’s notice, a bargain.
The global hot spots?
Drones are all the rage in the US who is of course driving the trend. According to TIME, the FAA is literally getting weekly requests for some sort of commercial drone concept. It’s really just a matter of time before seeing drones in our skies will be as normal as pigeons flying past.
The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba very recently tested a drone delivery service, promising to whisk ginger tea to customers within an hour despite close controls on airspace. Even though it will be limited to 450 deliveries and only in the three mega cities in China, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou in the South, Alibaba is again flying in the face of the Chinese regulators with it tests, showing once again that this drone trend is truly unstoppable.
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