Imagine a future where you place an m-commerce order from your smartphone or smartwatch and have your purchase delivered directly to you from the closest distribution center via a drone. Or a future where instead of engaging in rugged sports like ultimate frisbee or rugby, you and your homies participate in a ferocious battle of drones. Now stop picturing those ideas in a futuristic setting. Those ideas are real and they’re happening now in the drone startup sector. Young companies are working with drone technology to create a wide variety of businesses. Take a look at just some of the innovation happening in the aerial robotics sector:
DroneLab lets you share your drone aerial images on mobile devices and via web browsers. Perfect for those ‘drones as a service’ providers.
AirDog is working on an auto-follow drone for GoPro enthusiasts. Successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2014, AirDog raised a total of $1,368,177, smashing their $200,000 goal with ease.
Hivemapper offers community-based maps for drones.
Not exactly a drone startup, NoFlyZone lets you register your address as a no-fly-zone. NoFlyZone will provide their database information to participating drone manufacturers.
PixiePath offers fleet management software for drones.
Skydio is working on software for drones that integrates motion sensing algorithms and computer vision technology to improve flight capabilities.
As the name implies, Dronestagram offers an Instagram-style platform for drone videos.
Airware offers an all-in-one software platform for commercial drones. Features include cloud technology services, software, and hardware.
Skycatch offers drone data collection services. Their technology is available for numerous industries including construction, mining, and agriculture.
Drone Deploy also offers drone data collection services and data processing.
PreNav is building computer vision-enabled software to help drones fly in close proximity to objects. From flying inside warehouses to inspecting structures like oil rigs and cell towers, the uses for this technology are many.
Skyward offers enterprise-level software for commercial drone fleets. They also provide a number of professional services including drone cinematography, regulatory filings with government agencies, and commercial drone insurance.
Game of Drones combines extreme sports with drones. Imagine drone fight club and aerial maneuver challenges and you’ll have a good idea of the fervour that powers Game of Drones enthusiasts.
Both Skycart and Flirtey are working in the drone delivery space. Flirtey is based out of New Zealand while Skycart is a California-based startup. Living in the future, right?
Flyver offers a software development kit for creating Android apps for drones. Imagine the numerous possibilities of drones + smartphones and you’ll have an understanding of the potential of Flyver.
The above-listed companies are just a tiny sampling of the innovation happening within this sector. From real estate agents and filmmakers using drones for aerial photography to corporations and farmers using drones for site inspections, the potential of the drone marketplace is huge. When you factor in options like drones for archaeological inspections or drones for search-and-rescue missions, it is easy to see why the interest in this sector is so high. If you enjoy following startup sectors that are poised for ‘rising’ growth, the drone market is but in the early stages of taking flight. Add this sector to your ‘one to watch’ list.