Demand for drones in security
Drones are already more widely used in the security industry than many might have realised, if our survey is any barometer. Sixteen per cent of respondents– mostly comprising security professionals, heads of security and other senior executives– say they already deploy the technology. Three in five (60%) either already use drones or can foresee themselves doing so eventually, so it doesn’t seem hyperbolic to describe the growth trajectory for this market as heading sharply upwards.
Drones as a service
Few organisations can draw on a wellspring of expertise within their organisation or readily find candidates with eclectic skillsets that happen to include expertise in this niche discipline. Within this context, this observation made by Adam Lisberg, DJI spokesman for North America, to Reuters in 2016, seems perceptive. “Four years ago, it was enough to take something out of a box, you push a button and it flies. The smart money is now in drone services.”
CCTV with rotors: Disrupting the security technology mix
With so much of our urban environment already under surveillance, might hard-nosed security professionals write surveillance drones off as an expensive gimmick?
And yet, as well as being unmanned and equipped with onboard cameras, the other obvious facts about Drone Security are that they are mobile and airborne. This means they can do things that are impossible for regularly fixed surveillance cameras– like birds-eye views over large areas or dispatching rapidly to areas of interest.
The capacity of security drones to support and reduce numbers of fixed cameras and ‘boots on the ground’ is constrained more than any other factor by battery life– and drones are currently deficient in this regard. At present, commercial drones can typically fly continuously for only about 25 minutes. Surveillance monitoring is a 24-7 undertaking so it’s a major drawback– albeit one obviously solved by rotating multiple drones in shifts. Requiring a larger fleet, however, this obviously increases costs.