THE BLOG
11/23/2014 10:44 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2015

Are Mini-Drones the Future?

Drones are becoming such an integral part of the future; I really can't believe it myself. For anyone who doesn't know, a drone, as defined by Dictionary.com, is "a remote-controlled pilotless aircraft or missile," or "to make a continuous low humming sound" in it's verb version (fun fact). Drones used to be used for military use only in far away countries to avoid the use of American troops in various dangerous situations. Over the past few years, drones have become more and more prevalent in everyday situation because of creative engineers and developers designing lower grade drones.

As with all things, drones in the indie market used to be obscenely expensive, and quite flawed. Over time the drone market has boomed and suddenly I found myself at a convention on November 8 called Engadget, where I was holding a mini-drone that was beyond functional. This mini-drone, created by extremefliers.com was amazing. It's battery life is 8 minutes, it can fly up 300 ft, and a mile away, its top speed is 35 mph, it has a great camera that can live-stream and take video, you just throw it straight up into the air and it'll self-correct, and it wasn't obscenely expensive. I'm no drone connoisseur, but I believe that is what makes my opinion way more valid. This company set out to create a consumer version of drones meant to be small enough to be a toy, but at the same time effective enough to have a real purpose.

Drones have become so abundant that I know a freshman at my high school who has started a company designing and building drones, which he sells at various fairs. He's designing a drone so that it can survey a landscape and look for people lost in 3rd world countries. He got sponsorship for a month and has been pulling all-nighters to finalize his design. While school is suffering a tiny bit, it's amazing that a 15 year-old can design, build and sell his own custom drones with nearly no external help.

Another aspect of our oncoming drone world is the Amazon drone. In December of last year, Jeff Bezos announced the Amazon "delivery by drone," which means that Amazon would deliver whatever knickknack you ordered in a drone that would deliver your package within the hour. While this idea won't be enacted for another 4 years at least, the implications are unreal. The idea that drones will become so normal that just seeing a couple dozen in the air will be just as normal as seeing a postal truck is something out of those 20th century predictions of the future.

What really hit the whole drone situation home for me was when my dad and I were standing at the mini-drone table on Saturday. We were looking at the drone and really wanted one, and he turns to me and jokingly goes "I could take video of you running in States on Sunday!" This idea floored me because of how normal that idea is. We then joked about how every parent will eventually have a drone with a camera filming their child in whatever outdoor competition they participate him. All in all, the drone future is without a doubt an exciting future.