Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Attack of the drones

Drones are very popular - there were dozens of them at CES and they're all over Burning Man. They're relatively cheap, fun, easy to fly and can actually help safely inspect high or otherwise dangerous places. 

On the other hand, there are privacy concerns with camera equipped drones flying in residential neighborhoods and intellectual property concerns with having them fly near R&D facilities.

There's an interesting new technology that is being built in to some new drones that allows you to "geofence" your property to keep drones from flying there. It's called and allows you to define a perimeter above your property where drones are not allowed. 

Drones that participate in this program will then stay out. Of course this wouldn't stop a criminal from piloting a non-participating drone over your house, and there are currently many manufacturers that are not yet participating, but as it expands to more suppliers, it could stop casual drone operators from spying on your backyard barbecue. 

The idea is that you register your home address (one address per registrant) and the coordinates are then mapped out of the "flight path" of any drones in the area so that they can't fly there. 

There are plenty of problems to work out with this scheme, but these are the kinds of problems that need to be solved in a highly connected world. 

Of course, drones also make excellent targets for pellet gun practice - that is until they start shooting back...

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