From photography to high speed racing, drones have rapidly expanded their business, technical and practical applications worldwide. We are seeing companies reinvent and transform drone business applications with ingenious new ideas and creative solutions.
Drones have already entered more than a dozen different industries with an estimated global market share of $2 billion from commercial applications alone. However, this is just the beginning, as the market share of business drone applications is expected to rise to $127 in the next three years.
To give you an idea of the wide range of possibilities in commercial drone application, we bring you a review of the most popular business drone applications today.
Photography and Videography in Marketing
This is probably the most obvious choice for a drone business application. Aerial photography and videography are extremely powerful assets for commercial photo and video production.
Air-based package delivery service has some obvious merits. Drones don’t have to deal with traffic jams and bad roads in rural areas. This results in shorter delivery times and cutting expenses that usually go with traditional delivery service such as vehicle maintenance, fuel and manpower.
Amazon is already utilizing an automated drone delivery service with their Amazon PrimeAir service. Where available, their promise rapid parcel delivery in 30 minutes.
Science & Research
Drone itself is but a mode of transportation, and in this case, of sensors, instruments and equipment which are mounted on a drone. These provide the real benefit for scientific research, especially when it comes to data collection.
Researchers use infrared cameras on drones for measuring surface temperatures such as objects, land and sea. This approach is used by scientists who monitor the freezing and melting of ice. Drones are also used for monitoring the ecological environment. This includes monitoring rivers for flooding potential, animal migration and habitat tracking.
Drones are most often used in agriculture for crop monitoring and watering, but the possibilities go farther than that. You could use a drone to monitor soil and crop health, fertilize crops, measure plant height and collect weather information. This data could then be used to give estimates on yields based on weather forecast.
This kind of practical benefit has begun to revolutionize the agriculture industry and set the drone agriculture market as one of the largest drone business markets.
Companies use drones for security and surveillance because drones can easily go to hard to reach places while also remaining discrete.Some police forces, such as Devon and Cornwall police in England, use drones to monitor traffic and search for wanted or missing people.
You remember those action movies from 80s, 90s and 2000s where they’d always show a news crew chopper following the action? Those are becoming a thing of the past thanks to drones. Media houses and news networks especially small and mid-scale news companies, are finding cheaper and easier to cover the action from the air using simple camera drones.
Construction & Inspection
Drones are able to examine and inspect the condition of existing infrastructure that is normally hard to reach. Power plants, dams, power lines, oil rigs and wind turbines are all prime examples where companies are saving money, time and workforce simply by utilizing drones. A good example of this practice would be AT&T who is using drones to inspect cell towers.
Drones equipped with a 3D camera can record a 3D models of buildings and objects. Drone mapping technology can be used to calculate linear and volumetric measurements of buildings and ground, such as length, width, surface and volume. Companies are already utilizing this technology in order to expedite infrastructure planning in engineering and architecture projects.
There are numerous ways drones are being used to help people in emergency need. Disasters and accidents often leave people stranded in hard to reach or hazardous places. In these scenarios, drones are a perfect tool to safely and quickly deliver much needed medical equipment.
Wireless Internet Tethering
Companies such as Facebook and Google are already investing in and developing drone technology which should bring internet access to remote locations. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg says their aim is to produce a fleet of solar-powered drones that could stay in the air for months, providing an internet hotspot in developing countries or places affected by a natural disaster when land internet access has been severed.
As you can see the potential for drone business applications is enormous. Drones are already seeing real-world use in many industries, especially in marketing, agriculture, construction and inspection where a simple camera drone can drastically improve business performance. Other applications, such as a drone delivery service and air-borne internet access are still either in development or early implementation stage, but will no doubt see increased use as the drone technology advances further. Do you see a practical drone application for your business? Share your ideas with us in the comments section!