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10.16.2014

6 Ways A Drone Could Improve Your Life

If you’re an avid reader of DRONELIFE (and why wouldn’t you be?), you probably already know that the commercial drone industry is expected to exceed $89 billion in sales over the next 10 years.

That may prompt the casual reader to ask: “That seems a little extravagant. I’ve never bought a drone. I’ve never even seen a drone in action. Why should I care?” Well, it turns out that, as the technological curve widens across the industry, UAVs may have the potential to improve our lives. Here are just a few ways buying a drone could enhance your day-to-day existence.

Home Maintenance: Anyone who watches a few minutes of CNN knows that drones have played a key role in maximizing the effectiveness of military operations across the globe. We’ve all seen bird’s-eye-view footage broadcast from a drone and noticed the clarity and high definition it provides as it flies over rooftops. So why not move that same technology from the battlefield to your own backyard?

A beginner’s quadcopter (for example, the Hobby King’s Quanum Nova) can deliver live-stream, high-def video to your smart device. Ever wonder how your roof held up after the last storm? Is your chimney cracked? Gutters stopped up? With the push of a few buttons your quadcopter can take to the friendly skies over your house and give you an answer (and you can archive the video for insurance purposes as needed).

Life of the Party: Somewhere in the bowels of our smart-phone, Instagram account or in the actual pages of a photo album, we all have those same mundane photos from special occasions. The group shot from our family reunion, the “everybody-smile” endless photo stream of bride-groom-family poses. Sure, these occasions are special and memorable but why not make them memorable AND fun?

UAVs like the EYE One Xtreme Aerial Photography Set offer up to 720p HD video capabilities and can shoot stills up to 5 megapixels. Not only can you capture the usual type of photos, but using a drone allows you to experiment with new angles. Imagine capturing the annual family-reunion volleyball tournament from the sky. How about a wide angle on the classic “leaving for the honeymoon confetti walk?” And, with the new generation of “selfie drones,” a user can program a UAV to film autonomously. So go ahead and enjoy Aunt Eunice’s Death by Chocolate Cake and let the drone do the work.

Location, Location, Drone: Although the real-estate market is slowly clawing its way out of the Crash of 2008, experts agree it’s still a buyer’s market and that’s why it’s vital that sellers find new ways to market their homes. Professional Realtors have already discovered the benefits of using drones to enhance video listings but with the rise of for-sale-by-owner listings, investing in a UAV (like the Blade 350 QX AP) to film your home’s best attributes just makes sense (and, again, you may even notice some before-sale repairs that could prove embarrassing during closing).

Vacation Sensation: As Clark Griswold discovered in the classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, nothing kills that perfect, outdoors vacation faster than poor planning and a random mishap. You may not be able to control the vagaries of Wally World, but you can guarantee a better photo experience in the Great Outdoors by packing a drone into the Family Truckster. UAVs like the AR 2.0 by Parrot offer the ability to save photos and videos right to your smartphone. Not only does this allow you create the perfect travelogue for your outdoor trek, it also makes sharing via social media a breeze. Note: Avoid drone flights in National Parks since it’s now been banned by the NPS.

A New Hobby: Research studies clearly show that taking up a new hobby activates the brain’s septal zone — the area that controls how we feel and makes use happy. A recent study even indicates a new hobby can help you quit smoking. Further discoveries point to the possibility that learning something new may stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s. As drone sales take off, it stands to reason we will see growth in the hobbyist community.

In short, look for drones to be the “Next Big Trend.” For drone newbies, several models on the market are perfect for tackling the learning curve. A prime example is the low-cost Hubsan H107D X4 FPV. At just under $200, the X4 is perfect for a new hobbyist who may just want to kick the tires and see if UAV flying as a hobby is a good fit.

Drone Dollars: In today’s New Normal economy, more Americans are looking for ways to supplement their income. Owning a drone (like the Phantom 2 Vision) could be an exciting way to transform a hobby into an extra stream of revenue. Entrepreneurs are taking to the skies in droves by offering services for special-event photography, mapping, surveying, cinematography and even advertising. In some cases, drone pilots find they have enough business to quit their day jobs and go full time. Who knows, maybe you and your drone could get a film credit in the next Bond film.

Read the original story by Jason Reagan, here.