Drones: 12 serious escalations, mega-trends and some predictions

It can be difficult to write “prediction” in a title these days, things change so quickly, there is a risk that it already happened. So do let us know if we slip up !


  1. Sadly, a drone collision with commercial airliner is bound to happen soon. We already see multiple near misses e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1142242/German-army-drone-collision-scare-airliner-related.html
  2. Ever more drone related regulation will appear; in some countries, already widely misunderstood regulation difficulties are hampering business chances. Take the Amazon US case, where research had to move into India to continue. In most cases, where authorities do not understand something, they completely over-steer with stupid and blanket regulation (that includes the USA). We expect plenty more of this nonsense and it’s side-effects in the near term.
  3. Major developments coming out of Africa, due to a combination of slower regulation & poor existing infrastructure, the Indian subcontinent & the African continent have massive advantage in having very little standing in the way of progress. High-tech transportation and delivery mechanisms are most likely to flourish there, especially where costs are also purged by the particular technology employed. We expect good news from these countries.
  4. Break-throughs in better energy/battery technologies are always just around the next corner, however, there are a few big chances for a consumer moonshot here, with Tesla energy, cheaper solar and also with LMB type technologies finally arriving, for example here is a video from 2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20420557 for tech that is now real. All of this actually helps the drone world to expand rapidly and extend it’s reach enormously. We have seen signs of this already in  South America.
  5. A military escalation by accident. Scarily, the barriers against causing a major international conflict by accident are dropping all the time as more powerful technologies are made available to the general public across the planet. For instance, smugglers are a problem in many places, and official responses to smugglers are usually as strong as any small scale military action. We anticipate political problems will be caused by this (or used as an excuse) on a few key borders.
  6. Paparazzi drones on a new level. We anticipate that nano-drones will soon arrive and be crawling all over and into celebrity properties; seeking out intel and gossip. Nasty stuff.
  7. Major anti drone technology, e.g. http://www.droneshield.org is finally here, to at least let us know where the drones are when they trespass..and detection is just step one ! Later we will see capture and/or destroy technology applied as well.
  8. Drones as body guards. There will still be the need for the close-quarter body protection team (suits, dark glasses, ear pieces etc) however, new additions to the team will include drones that accompany, oversee and communicate with the suits and back to base via AR headsets. All the tech for this is available already, we watch and wait.
  9. Disrupting traditional warfare; asymmetric. This is history, we already see a massive range of robotics in use by powerful nations. Some robots are solo use, most assisted by humans. The big next-step difference, however, will be in scale (the number  of devices deployed). Truly huge deployments are on their way. Imagine street-barriers at public events being replaced by “interlocking-drone-barriers”.
  10. Protest drones – with banner messages in the sky, graffiti, acid attacks (and potentially more serious terrorist payloads too). These forms of protest are on their way.
  11. Laser drone vs drone wars:  http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/03/drone-wars/
  12. 220 drone projects on kickstarter (crowdfunding — from agriculture to protection to rescue to cargo …)  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=drone

Well, we hope that list wasn’t too terrifying, because we probably missed a few..


Categorised as: Life

Posted by: Kramer

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