Drone sales up 117% in 2016

No real surprises here. The hype cycle works for everything, electric cars, solar panels, weight loss pills and drones.

Drone Sales Exploded 117% in 2016.

This has been reported a few places, I just picked this article to link to because it was short.

NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service found that in the 12 months ending in February 2017, $300+ “premium” drones drove steady sales while low-cost drones between $50 and $100 flew off store shelves.

$300+ drones accounted for 84% of the dollars spent on drones and 40% of the unit sales.

Here is one of the more interesting aspects I found worthy of some thought…..

In terms of features, the data showed that drones with intelligent autopilot features sold 5 times faster than drones without it, and drones with intelligent follow capabilities sold a whopping 19 times faster.

My take on this is a few scattered (tattered?) thoughts…..
So people like buying ‘smart’ drones. I suppose that is two fold, firstly, they cant fly, so want high levels of autonomy to prop up their lack of skill.
This seems to be a thing in most areas these days, people just don’t want (cant?) to put in the time to learn a skill. I admire Terry, he has put in hours and hours of stick time and it shows, his flying is way beyond mine. Yes, the other day when he was working on his done with my soldering station, he said ‘Thanks Dad for teaching us to solder, I would not have got so far along so fast by just watching YouTube’s on soldering’…. So it works both ways, I cant fly as well as him as I have not put in the time, but I can solder better because I have put in the time. Totally get that. My point remains, people are buying the smarter drones because they need/want the help.

Second point from this quote…. ‘Intelligent follow’. People want videos of themselves doing things. The century of selfies, or dronies.
I am guilty of this, and hope to become more guilty, but not with software, I want to get out there and fly with Terry and have him video me from his drone. You can’t program human intelligence, aka, time developed skills.
I don’t trust the software to have the drone follow me, and I don’t trust the software to respect my money that is hovering (hopefully) in the air. I also don’t trust the software to be creative, to get a shot that takes planing and practice. It is for this reason I really like the older drones piloted by a skilled human.

In the mean time, we can look forward to seeing drones fly off the shelves being used for things they probably shouldn’t and we will see law makers try and make laws restraining low skilled pilots from trusting software to do stupid things.

[Yes, I am a grumpy old man].