Drones could be the next sleeper technology that flies under the radar for much of its development years and then explodes onto the mainstream. For the past decade consumer drones have been gaining real popularity with hobbyists. The addition of cameras, improved battery life, extended flying range and control via a smartphone has resulted in record growing sales.
But in parallel to the consumer market, something very exciting is happening in the enterprise. New use cases are coming to life and with the technology maturing, the growing ecosystem is drawing the attention of both the public and private sectors.
These developments are now increasing calls for standardization and regulation to build trust in the industry. Cybersecurity is one such issue that needs to be part of the framework of the future drone ecosystem. Not only will more oversight help create healthy competition, but customers—both consumers and B2B customers— need to trust that the devices and services are safe and trustworthy.
One game-changer will be adding SIMs and eSIMs to drones. This opens up all sorts of opportunities, not least because pilots no longer need line-of-sight to the drone. Mobile connectivity will unshackle the industry and allow connected drones to operate autonomously and securely, delivering new and more comprehensive services.
But as with any technological leap, there are things to be mindful of. We brought together three experts to discuss the growing commercial drone ecosystem.