There is something new in conjunction with fireworks this year: warnings to leave your drones at home.  It’s serious business, with the FAA threatening to confiscate any drone within a radius of the pyrotechnic displays.

Drones have come into their own this year; they reached a tipping point where they have become more of a commodity than a novelty.  Amateurs are using them as expensive toys. Photographers are capitalizing on the ability to do aerial videos and overhead photos.  Amazon is experimenting with them for same-day delivery in major cities.  Even farmers are using them to survey the fields and alert them to weeds or standing water.

If a new world view and overhead pathway has suddenly become so accessible, how can you capitalize on it.  OK, not to get an eye-level shot of the fireworks or to follow the Golden Knights parachuters as they descend into the festivities!  But there are many other uses for seeing things from above: a campus tour or real estate website that puts the property into the context of the surrounding neighborhood; a new way to monitor traffic or possibly a method to search for escaped felons.  Or maybe you can use a drone to move things in the air space:  supplies to an accident victim, food to hikers or urgent legal briefs to the courthouse.

Leave yours at home during the Fourth celebrations, but don’t plan on leaving it in the closet for long.  “Drone” used to mean dull or monotonous.  Today “drone” means “hot”, as in one of the hottest new technologies around.  Don’t let it the opportunities fly by you.

— beth triplett


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