There are potential real world use case for drones / UAVs, such as farmers using drones to monitor property, livestock, and crops. Coming off the heels of the Cattle Rustlers discussion thread, as mentioned by a member, a drone could do the necessary work of a few well-placed, implemented cameras.
Below is a video demonstrating and detailing the use case for farmers using UAS (original story here).
We are curious to know if integrators and other potential interested parties see a value in supporting / selling drones as part of their offerings. As mentioned in the video, "UAS couldpotentially become a major player ~20 years from now", which sounds like implementation and other aspects of getting these drones off the ground in a reputable fashion is still a ways away.
Interesting application for drones... and farmers (unintuitively, maybe) are big developers and users of technology. Farmers were using GPS technology in the early 90's (in combination with other, existing 'yield calculation' methods) before there were enough NAVSTAR satellites to make it work all the time. Early adopters had to know the terrestrial paths of the existing satellites so they could run their GPS units when there were enough of them in the sky at once to return accurate data.
But one problem I see with the theory of integrators selling these to farmers is that farmers have distribution channels just like physical security does. They are a very insular bunch - in general.
Way back in the day, I worked for a publisher that did monthly state-based, and quarterly vertical-based agricultural magazines. When the original GPS farming applications were coming out, I sold ad space in our pubs - and I got them to run ads across our spectrum of magazines. And they got little direct response. This did not make them happy, as I had painted them a rosy picture of their phones ringing off the hook the day after our mags hit the streets (or the farms in this instance).
The ads did provoke phone calls to agricultural distributors (also customers of mine) asking about this new technology. It wasn't until these manufacturers partnered with established agricultural distribution channels that their sales took off.
So maybe, if Anixter, ADI and ScanSource started carrying drones, integrators would sell them.
NOTE: The above relies on old knowledge of farming applications. Farmers quite possibly rely less on their distribution channels now that the internet exists than they did back then (kinda like physec)...
I shudder to think of the skies littered with drones controlled by just about anyone with the funds and desire. Without major advances in drone self-intelligence, situational awareness and reliability, they will undoubtedly be controlled by at least some of the same people who are a danger to other drivers on the highway.
I'm seriously considering inventing a drone-resistant umbrella similar to, but stonger than, this: