- Skill Level
Posted on March 14, 2016
So you’ve decided that this is the year you may finally make that purchase and become a proud quadcopter owner and pilot, but you’re having slight reservations.
First of all, throw those reservations to the wind because if any year was the year to make that purchase, 2016 is it. As is the case with most modern technologies, the quadcopter industry is advancing exponentially when it comes to features, benefits and means of utilization.
For the consumer, prosumer and professional RC quadcopter owner, this means smarter, faster and safer gadgets at extremely affordable prices. In my eyes, the following five reasons, alone, are more than enough to solidify this as the year you finally pull that trigger.
1) The Commercial Industry is Booming
While there are certainly some very affordable quadcopters available in the market, let’s be honest, you can also spend quite a bit of money on a quadcopter if you’re opting for the newest and best features/technologies available.
If you fall into this category, it’s a refreshing and reassuring trend to see that the drone, quadcopter and UAV commercial industry is absolutely skyrocketing with no signs of halting anytime soon.
Whether you’re interested in working as an employee of a company or owning your own business, experience with owning, handling and piloting a quadcopter can afford numerous opportunities to turn your hobby into a profitable career. A quick review of UAV/Drone jobs available on the career website Indeed shows that the average job in this field yields a salary of more than $100,000 per year.
So, stop wasting your time with TPS Reports (if this escapes you, you’ve got to watch Office Space) and enter a field that is both enjoyable AND rewarding.
(Check out this in-depth guide to flying a quadcopter to learn how to fly safely and effectively.)
2) Streamlining of Regulations
As is the case with many new technologies, the quadcopter industry has seen its share of ups and downs when it comes to regulations.
These confusions aren’t limited to one or two countries, either, but rather a multitude of international countries, as the United States, Canada and Australia are all considering regulatory changes.
It’s understandable that government officials would struggle to adopt regulations that weigh public/private safety and privacy concerns against the right to own and operate a craft such as a quadcopter in a safe and responsible manner. It doesn’t help that untrained and unknowledgeable pilots and owners have made international news for acts that would send a chill down any politician’s spine.
It’s not all doom and gloom on this front, though, as recent advancements and indicators show that 2016 may be the year that this sorts itself out. Advancements in citizen UAV training and better understanding of the industry from governmental officials is leading to a streamlining of regulations (like the 333 exemption) that may allow owners and operators to carry out consumer and professional activities in a safe, responsible, and most importantly, indisputably legal manner.
3) Increased Competition = Better Tech for Less
If there’s anyone out there who wants to pay more for better technology and features when they could get the same for less… well… then I just don’t understand you.
For the rest of us, this is extremely exciting news. Regardless of the industry, an increase in competition almost exclusively leads to innovation of features and an increase in affordability – the quadcopter industry is no exception to this rule.
From what we’re seeing, 2016 will bring us an abundance of new and incredible features for quadcopters that would have been unthinkable in the years before, and it will do so at rates that put these features closer and closer to universally accessible for the average consumer.
This year may officially see the point where regardless of your means and background, if you want to be part of the drone community, then there is a feature-filled model available for you and I think that is an incredible step forward for the industry.
Companies such as Qualcomm, for example, who are best known for their smartphone processing chips, are now developing chips for quadcopters that will allow some of the same advancements we’ve become accustomed with our smartphones to exist in the quadcopter realm.
With lighter chips and higher processing power, these chips will reduce the overall weight of a quadcopter, which will increase speed/maneuverability while also increasing battery life.
In short, quadcopters are about to get even cooler so you should get your credit card, because you’re running out of excuses to stop yourself.
4) Cutting-Edge Technologies
As we mentioned above, the advancements in underlying technologies, such as processing chips, are allowing quadcopter companies to pack in even more features than previous years.
2016 quadcopters will see an increased availability of out-of-the-box 4K resolution features, as well as incredible features like object avoidance and subject tracking.
Companies such as DJI, a recognized leader in the field, have announced quadcopters with advanced object avoidance that allow the UAVs to automatically avoid obstacles and collisions.
Not be left outdone in the ‘Minority Report’ meets ‘1984’ category, this year’s consumer quadcopters may also see subject tracking features that allow the definition of a stationary target and allow the UAV to track and follow the subject as it moves.
So, from the looks of it, 2016 will be a fantastic year if you’re a UAV owner/operator, but an absolutely miserable year if you’re a fleeting criminal, cheating spouse, or enemy of the state.
5) Rewarding and Healthy Hobby
Last but not least, purchasing a quadcopter is the beginning of a hobby that can actually increase your physical and mental health as it takes you off of the couch, out of the house, and into the sun.
Increasingly, technological advances are giving us less and less of a reason to venture outside of our rooms, let alone our houses, but the ownership and piloting knowledge of a quadcopter is a technology that encourages the opposite.
While we’re not doctors, we think it is safe to say that that heading outside and exploring the World with your new quadcopter can be seen as a great thing for your health.
So, grab your quadcopter, head outside, and enjoy the sun; I look forward to joining you!
Alan Perlman founded UAV Coach, a drone pilot and sUAS industry training community, to help push the drone community forward and to help new pilots break into the sUAS industry.