A giant drone-coptor, capable of carrying a human, was by far the coolest invention I saw at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The machine was so captivating we stood staring, eyes full of wonderment, until a guy from CNN quietly told Jason and I to get out of his live broadcast shot. Sorry about that Ted Turner.
For an inside look of how these drones work, catch a glimpse for yourself with this short video.
Right now drones are all the rage because Amazon might use them to deliver smiley-faced boxes to your door. But package fulfillment is the tip of the iceberg. Drones can scan the countryside with heat seeking technology to locate a kid lost in the woods. Ranchers can count cattle from their computers. And in the future, when you’re too tired to drive or you’re drunk, your drone can take you to your office or house.
This machine might make self-flying transportation a reality even before flying cars. Marty McFly (and Doc Brown) would be disappointed.
Today drones big enough for a Paul Shoare are highly illegal and there are all kinds of regulatory issues, but the possibilities certainly inspire the imagination.
Take a look at the video below of a drone ballet I shot on my iPhone 6s during CES. The entire display was preprogrammed so multiple drones could dance without destroying each other. To me, this was really an illustration of a bigger idea—pre-programmed pathways that take people to work, grocery stores, and even their kid’s ball game. It’s the future and it’s not far off.
For the sleep industry, I envision a world where drowsy drivers have a new option—drones. Think about this scenario: your smart bed indicates a poor night of sleep and communicates that information to your smartphone. Your smartphone indicates the drone is charged and encourages you to avoid driving. You hop in your drone and tell it to take you to work. During the 23-minute trip you catch a catnap and enter the office feeling a bit more refreshed than if you’d spent 45 minutes fighting traffic.
Drone-coptors may be years away, but if inspiring our imaginations is half the battle, they’re humming toward reality.