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Commercial Drone Interest & Development Skyrockets, Heavy Reading Reports

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NEW YORK -- Interest in the commercial drone industry is growing, and technology is developing quickly, laying the foundation for a range of future drone-based applications, including the use of drones in communications networks, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Insider (www.heavyreading.com/insider), a subscription research service from Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com).

Connected Drones… Seriously examines the emerging market for commercial, connected drones. It describes the emerging value chains and functional stratification of the technologies that make up a modern connected drone. It examines the most significant issues facing the commercial drone sector – in particular related to connectivity – and summarizes what is happening in the development of drones as network nodes. It reviews the supply-side landscape of the industry, and profiles 14 companies – from very small start-ups to giant technology corporates – that are working in the connected drone space.

For a complete list of suppliers profiled in this report, click here.

"The combination of better stability systems and easier-to-fly drones, smaller, lighter cameras, innovation in flight planning and control and affordability has led to a huge surge of interest in the use of small drones for consumer, prosumer and commercial applications," says Danny Dicks, contributing analyst with Heavy Reading Insider and author of the report. "The capability of drones to carry out an increasing range of tasks, and to make some existing processes simpler, cheaper and more effective, means that there is a wave of innovation and development happening around the world."

But this industry has been – and still is – looking for clear and sympathetic regulation of commercial drone activity, Dicks says. "In particular, the U.S. FAA's views have been eagerly awaited: a draft was released in February 2015 following a period during which there were a few case-by-case exemptions granted to a blanket ban," he continues. "Such regulation has a big influence over the fate of drone hardware manufacturers, component makers and a raft of providers of software platforms and services who are developing offers in the expectation of market take-off."

Key findings of Connected Drones… Seriously include the following:

  • Drone and sensor technology is developing at a pace that means an "Internet of Flying Things" is emerging, with requirements familiar to traditional IoT/M2M markets.
  • The drone market is becoming layered, and specialists are occupying new positions in an evolving technology stack.
  • Cellular networks and cloud-based platforms are emerging as significant parts of that stack.
  • Military and hobbyist companies, startups and IoT/M2M companies all bring ideas to the connected drone table.
  • Drones used as network nodes are being developed, but significant technology challenges remain and information is scarce.
  • The U.S. FAA's recent draft regulations for drones may dent, but not fatally damage, the market for commercial drone services and systems.

Connected Drones… Seriously is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (12 issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,995. Individual reports are available for $595 (single-user license).

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User Rank: Light Sabre
4/18/2015 | 6:30:54 PM
It's the Internet All Over Again
From the sounds of things it's the Internet all over again, with legal administration trying to catch up as technology advances and having no real idea about what to do about it.  Considering I don't think the law is even caught up with the Internet from ten years ago, I predict a lot of turbulance in the airs of regulation in the near future.
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