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A 1 Billion Drone Future?

American futurist Thomas Frey has declared that drones will be the most invasive technology in human history, predicting that by the year 2030 – there will be a billion drones in the world doing jobs that we can’t yet imagine. To support his theory, Frey came up with a list of 192 potential jobs for the commercial drones of the future.

But what would a world with this many drones look like? And more importantly, are any of Frey’s drone job ideas genuinely viable? We’ve scrutinised the list to pick out the best potential uses for the commercial drones of the future. From emergency services to gaming, one thing’s for sure – the possibilities really are endless!


1. Emergency Service Drones

The opportunities for drones in the emergency services are limitless, much because they can cover ground quickly and efficiently –especially in scenarios where a human wouldn’t (or couldn’t) follow. Frey particularly notes the opportunity for drones to be used to search for missing people. In particular, using drones to track missing pets or children will be a lot more efficient way to look for them during the first, crucial 24 hours.

As well as the police department, drones could also aid the fire department. Frey suggest uses such as infrared sensor drones, which can detect and extinguish forest fires early before they spread to a level that can have disastrous effects. This same technology could also be used to locate and rescue someone who has been buried under an avalanche, landslide or similar incidents.

2. News reporting

Drones of the future could also have the potential to take news reporting to the next level, as they will be able to get closer to the action that had previously been possible. Currently they are used primarily for story location shots – but as the commercial costs continue to fall, the local news should increasingly adopt them. Frey predicts the use of accident/incident monitoring drones, which can zoom in on an accident to get a closer look, meaning the scene can be reported a lot more accurately by local news networks.

Time-Lapse Weather Drones could also mean we get to see Earth’s climate and weather in a way that we have never seen before – capturing the big picture over an extended period from virtually any angle.


3. Gaming and Leisure

Despite their potential to help with many serious real-world issues, drones’ versatilities mean they can also take gaming and leisure to a whole new level (pun intended). Drone racing is already gaining in popularity around the world – so why stop there? Frey imagines drones taking treasure hunts to the next level, where they would have the ability to find unusual objects in hard to reach and unconventional places. The ground that a drone could cover compared to a human means that the treasure hunt can take place in a much larger and more complex area than it would be able to otherwise.

Frey also describes how one day there could be a drone hunting season – instead of shooting clay pigeons, drones could take their place. A drone has the capability to mimic the movement of a bird much more realistically, and could even be designed to look like the bird of choice – making for a much more realistic shooting experience.

4. Marketing

According to Thomas Frey, companies could one-day use drones to create greater impact and to reach a larger audience without having to buy conventional advertising space. In particular, he notes drones’ potential for spot advertising. Whether projecting images on a pavement or beaming a commercial onto a wall – if you where you know your target audience is going to be, a new technological solution could be extremely effective.

Frey also re-imagined the old-school advertising method of banner pulling, but a drone would take the place of the plane. This would mean the advertising could be brought closer to earth and the drone wouldn’t be restricted by a flight path like a plane would. Multimedia formation drones would take this idea one step further and would eliminate the need for a banner altogether, by swarms morphing and shape-shifting into giant 3D logos and messages. It would take some coordination or programming – some of which is already being developed –  but you can’t tell us it wouldn’t be worth the effort!

5. Sport

Finally, from personal training to marathon running, Frey has even detailed the role drones could eventually play in the sporting world. Drones could one-day take on the role of your personal trainer -keeping pace with you during your work out, giving you feedback and motivation. What’s more, the same concept could one day be used to track the progress of a marathon race, without an intrusive camera car having to follow.


Taking the idea of drones in sport to an extreme level, Frey theorizes that drones could even deploy an instant landing pad at a moment’s notice. As you can imagine, this technology could be used by anyone from stunt riders to circus performers. This would surely make stunts bigger and better, without the fear of extreme injury or worse when falling to the ground, or having to stay above a stationary landing pad.

Naturally, there were many more drone advances that Frey predicted that could be a reality one day in the future – but just this list alone demonstrates the immense potential that drones still hold.

While some of these advances may still be theoretical, for today’s current commercial uses – it’s never been more important to protect you and your drone.  Get your instant online quote for tailored commercial drone insurance from Insure4Drones today and see how affordable peace of mind for your business can be.

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