Drones Are No Longer Flying Under the Radar

Unmanned aerial devices have become all the rage, while at the same time outraging critics and concerned observers. But it also signifies opportunities for integrators.

One of the hottest tech gadgets being gifted this holiday season has been drones, which can now be had for as little less than $50 all the way up to thousands of dollars.

Already a controversial area due to the use of drones for military purposes and for municipal video surveillance applications, as well as talk of commercial use for product delivery (Amazon), the prospect of the unmanned flying gizmos proliferating with scant regulation or oversight has many up in arms.

Among those voicing concern is Darrell Slaughter, director of business development at Phoenix’s Unmanned Vehicle University. However, the emergence of drones also poses a potentially huge business and video surveillance revenue opportunity for security integrators and monitored services providers.

RELATED: Look Out for Camera Drone Integration in 2015

SSI first reported about this market opportunity nearly a year ago in a piece titled“Might We Soon Become Drone Rangers?” Last month, I spent time with Armed Response Team (Albuquerque) President/CEO Dave Meurer, who is avid about deploying drones for security applications and sees it as the next big thing. Here is what he told me:

“We’re looking at a video surveillance option that I think is going to be groundbreaking. We’re looking at utilizing drones in conjunction with perimeter protection systems to go ahead and do the interrogation of a site. We’re actually developing that now. The drone is a mobile video platform in which you can also place sensors on it and then you don’t need to blanket an area with a bunch of devices because it blankets the area. We’re making them completely autonomous. We’ve got a whole system we’re putting together now. It’s self-enclosed, the systems are completely autonomous. Nobody has to drive them. They’re all preprogrammed. They recharge themselves so nobody has to change batteries, the whole works. It’s an innovative solution we’re getting ready to roll out in the first quarter of next year. I just know it’s going to be a game-changer.”

Meurer told me he has researched and is not concerned about the FAA, ACLU or other possible restrictions because his intended offerings operate within guidelines that avert potential issues or objections. Read my entire interview with Meurer as part of SSI‘s integrator roundtable January issue cover story. No doubt this is an exciting technology and possible industry growth area to keep a close watch on.

Happy New Year! 

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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