THE BLOG

The Surveillance State Wants You

01/23/2013 03:59 pm ET | Updated Mar 25, 2013

The future of surveillance is already here

The drones are among us. Also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), drones are no longer the purview of President Obama and wealthy paranoiacs.

Congress has ordered the FAA to open the skies to drones by September 2015, and for the time being, at least, anyone with a credit card and an unhealthy curiosity can put their eyes in the sky.

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is the perfect entry-point for the budding Big Brother. The "Quadricopter" records 720p video, is controlled by an iOS app, and is available on amazon for a mere $299.99.

DIY Drones positions UAVs as update to amateur rocketry - the perfect way to spend Sunday afternoon with Grandpa. The company was founded by Chris Anderson - yes, the former Editor in Chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail has gotten in the drone game. You can buy an almost-ready-to-fly model for $549 here.

AeroVironment built the Nano Hummingbird drone (pictured above) for DARPA, the Pentagon's research arm. The 6.5-inch UAV isn't ready for the average consumer just yet, but if you're looking for a professional-grade drone, AeroVironment offers a full line.

Of course, your new drone has more applications than just spying on your neighbors. They've been used to film music videos and real estate fly-overs, and national park rangers use them to search for forest fires.

Now go forth (and hover).

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