Posted: 22 Jan 2016 Contributor: Kristina Petrick
CES 2016 Updates: There Aren’t Just Toy Drones
The biggest show in the technology industry was wrapped up at the beginning of this month, and we’ve got some juicy bits of some of our favorite CES 2016 updates, the drone edition. The floor was packed with these buzzing wonders, and it’s got us pondering exactly what the future might hold.
You remember when toy drones first hit the mainstream. Malls were filled with the tiny gadgets in special kiosks, especially during the holidays. Mom’s looked on in horror, imagining the potential level of home destruction, while the attendants skillfully navigated the mini choppers through the mall. Weaving in and out amongst the frenzied children, met with shrieks of joy until they flew too bravely past their transmitting zone and plummeted to the floor below.
Drones have come a long way since then, and at the world renowned Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we saw more than a taste of the future from drones, to AI, to coffee machines that mix margaritas. Want to know what the future holds? Let’s look at some CES 2016 updates that will have you looking at drones from a whole new perspective.
HISTORY OF DRONES
While drones may seem like a concept of the future, they’ve actually been used historically for more years that you probably realize. The first could-be-called drones were used in the military, and were little more than pilotless balloons. Very dangerous balloons mind you, armed with bombs during wars in 1849 and the U.S. Civil War in 1862. Read more about their origins here.
The next big wave of innovation (and perhaps the most important for drones) began with Nicola Tesla, who introduced the first remote control vehicle 1898 (a boat to be more specific), far beyond the technology of its time. A change the way we saw the future of unmanned transport.
Fast-forwarding more than a century, CES 2016 Las Vegas has now adopted the concept full-force. Introducing some technology advancements that are out of this world.
USES OF DRONES
With the advances and interest of drones picking up speed, the uses are endless. Event photography, aerial view, home security, business security, or just plain fun – with advanced navigation systems, detect and avoidance sensors, and more-and-more affordable prices, it’s fair to say we can expect a newly filled skyline before long. These are just a couple of our favorites from this year’s CES 2016 updates.
Amazon has generated a great deal of excitement. In the not-so-far future, they will be launching Prime Air. A 30-minute delivery service brought to you by their customized fleet of drones. With product already in testing, they plan to launch first in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Isreal. Read more and watch a short film on their site here.
Yuneec Electric Aviation already offers a couple of models of drones for photography and recreation. Features include built-in touchscreen, high definition video, and a 12-megapixel camera. Their latest model, the Yuneec Typhoon H, was just released during CES 2016. Boasting a 360 degree rotating camera and sonar sensors, this little buzzer can avoid buildings during flight, and is expected to run the consumer around $1,800. You can read more at UAV Experts if you’re thinking of signing up to be an early adopter.
FUTURE OF DRONES
Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes drones as, “an unmanned aircraft or ship guided by remote control or onboard computers”. But, we’ve saved the best for last – and let’s just say that description may need to be tweaked a bit. Perhaps one of the most exciting of all the drones is getting more attention than baby kitten videos on YouTube. (maybe) EHANG 184 made history at its debut at CES 2016. Behold, the very first prototype of a drone built to carry a human passenger. Ready to dynamically alter our conceptions of travel, the 184 could be our first look at the traffic of the sky. Only 18 feet in length, and 440 pounds, it’s about the mass of a motorcycle, and would fit in a parking space if only the world was ready. There is still a ways to go with government regulations, security, and the opening of people’s minds – but if you truly want to behold the future, go to CNN Money for an inspiring video and details of the project.
Whether you’re in it for the hobby, a new way to capture a music festival, or re-shaping our future – when talking about the future of drones, the sky’s the limit. And that’s not so far away. Be sure to check out the Consumer Electronics Show event page for the whole lineup of exciting gadgets ready to rock your world.
Are you excited for the launch of these super-charged flying drones, or bracing yourself for the robots vs. humanity apocalypse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Did we miss one of your favorites from the CES 2016 updates; what are you obsessing over from the prototypes featured this year?