The most successful businesses in the world continuously search for new and innovative strategies to promote their products and services to impress their consumers. The rapid increase of competition we see today makes it more crucial than ever to show your consumers something different and a reason to remember you. Recently, lots of interest has been directed towards autonomous drones and what they can do.

So what is an “autonomous drone?” There are different levels of autonomy, which we will dive into in a future article, but we are operating at a Level 3 equivalent for driving. This means that there is minimal input from the operator, and the drone can fly and perform from pre-programmed code. Using these autonomous drones together creates what is known as a “Drone Swarm.” They can be launched and with programmable LEDs become a new alternative to firework shows. Drone Light Shows have become increasingly popular as it allows creative companies to take advantage if the real estate in the sky in a spectacular fashion.

Source: Intel Breaking World Record

Why Drone Light Shows?

Aside from the beauty of the drone light shows, alternatives such as fireworks have significant drawbacks. Some issues include:

  • The release of dangerous toxins, chemicals, metal particles, and smoke, some of which never fully disappear causing major air pollution. source
  • In 2019 there were an estimated 10,000 firework-related injuries in the United States. Source
  • Fireworks can prompt panic in people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Increased risk of fires when using fireworks, especially in dry areas.
  • Limited selection of firework patterns, and an unsuccessful customizable fireworks market.
  • Fireworks cannot be reused.

As you can imagine, drones mitigate lots of the concerns noted above. Additionally, drone light shows are highly customizable, created with programmable computer software that allows complete freedom of positioning and lighting of the drones. Drone light shows have no pilot, taking away the risk of human error during shows, and the software used to create the show even offers a test feature to ensure complicated patterns can be reviewed, changed, and optimized, making it easy to maximize value to the client and minimizing any risk associated. The possibility of drone collisions or other mishaps is negligible as the drones use a ground-based GNSS system which means the drones will hover even in heavy winds extremely precisely, within a few mm of their planned location.

The possibilities are endless, and most importantly the system is completely reusable. This provided a clear benefit as fireworks are short-lived and only able to be used once. With reusable drones, you can create and save many different light shows, using the same equipment repeatedly at only a marginal cost.

Intel’s Drone Light Show at the Olympics

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Intel presented a spectacular drone light show that represented the idea of unity across the whole world and all its countries, as well as a much-needed symbol of hope after the tough times experienced around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Intel drone light show animators used more than 1800 drones, with each weighing under a pound. The show lasted approximately 2 minutes.

Intel is very well known in the drone light show world, previously holding the Guinness world record for most UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) in the air at the same time, a record they originally received in 2016 with 100 drones. Intel broke their record multiple times, racking up millions of views of their drone light shows on YouTube, however, the current record belongs to Chinese-based company Shenzen Damoda which conducted a 3,051 UAV drone light show back in September 2020.

Source: Drone Show at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The growth the drone light show industry experienced in those five years is impressive and makes drone businesses such as hover direct optimistic for the future.

The Future of Drone Light Shows

Future innovations will allow for more customizable complicated shows. We have already seen a huge increase in just a few years in the number of drones we can launch at once, and this will continue to grow as technology progresses. The rollout of 5G networks will mean drones will be able to fly more precisely in their intended location, being operated with lower latency from anywhere in the world. This virtually eliminates the fear of drone collision, allowing them to be programmed closer together in the sky to create drone light shows with a higher level of detail. Drone manufacturers are also actively trying to lower the costs of drones to increase availability to businesses looking at drone light shows as a marketing tool.

Drone Entertainment Market To Grow 15.6% Annually

The Drone entertainment market is expected to lead the overall drone market in upcoming years. Notably, popular Toronto-born rapper “Drake” used drones in a Chicago performance of his music, but the drone entertainment industry goes far past that. Drones are very useful as a supporting tool in specific placements, aiding to special effects shots. As a result of this, many companies within the entertainment industry have started to incorporate the use of drones into their production & marketing strategies. Currently valued at over $4.4 billion, the drone entertainment market is expected to grow 15.6% annually for 5 years, to an impressive $9.1 billion valuation, which is over 100% growth in those 5 years. These estimates are given by Andrew McWilliams from BBC research, who has also predicted a huge increase in revenue for the overall drone market. Some of the other areas in the overall drone market to watch out for are defense, delivery, photography, wildlife, and overall environment conservation, and delivery of medicine in hard-to-access areas. Source

Drone Engineering Degree

The quickly moving expansion and quality improvements coming to the drone industry have universities and colleges across the world interested. St. Mary’s University in Texas will soon offer a bachelor’s in engineering science degree with a focus on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or as noted earlier, UAVs for short. The offering of drone-related programs at respected education institutions in the United States is social proof of the competition that is to come in the drone industry, which should drive the market upwards, reduce costs for consumers & businesses, create jobs, and increase the number of businesses offering these types of services.

Source: Canadian Drone Show

Hover’s Drone Services

Hover provides several drone services, specializing in commercial real estate & soon drone light shows!

Please reach out to me if you have any thoughts about the article or want to chat more about Hover.

Eamon —

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