Drones, Clones and Cellular Phones

The many potential uses of drones

Drones are remotely-operated flying devices, generally light-weight and outfitted with remote surveillance capability. “Wired Magazine” states that, in the very near future, drones will be used for everything from police surveillance of criminals to unwanted invasions of privacy and fast-food delivery.

Drones will create related jobs, including hardware & software development

Drones will create related jobs, including hardware & software development

Clearly, drone operators will be required to obtain FAA and other approvals for operating drones. In order for drones to be used for commercial purposes, business licenses will be needed. In addition, robust software will be needed for operating the drones and for “drone traffic control.” Along with new license and certifications jobs, drones could provide new avenues of employment for software developers. New multitasking software, including collision avoidance and drone air traffic control will be needed, to allow for the safe operation of drones.

Additionally, drones now are possible in mass quantities, due to the fact that they utilize the latest cell phone & computing technologies; including small, light-weight electronic GPS capabilities, as well as small, more efficient batteries and motors. Such advances have allowed a decrease in both size and cost of components needed to manufacture viable drones. As well, improvements in cell and related technologies mean that drones can be operated more effectively over longer distances, more helpful hints.

Drone physical design and production also will mean more jobs in hardware design and engineering. Along with new hardware and software design jobs, various related supporting jobs, such as drone security, certification and operation will emerge.

Some pitfalls: Drone clones – illegally-copied drones

Drones likely will be subject to the same fate of the original personal computers – being copied, or “cloned.” An illegal “drone clone” would appear identical to the original, “legal” drone.

In cases of illegally-copied drones, a “bad drone” would impersonate a “good drone,” creating new types of crime. For example, if a commercial drone is sent to pickup a highly-valuable package and, instead, a “drone clone” shows up first; the package easily could end up in the hands of a criminal. To prevent such crimes, drones will need strong authentication and authorization mechanisms, much like those used to verify identities of computer users. Drones would be less likely to be impersonated if they use two-factor or three-factor authentication, such as RSA’s SecurID and/or PKI-related certificates. Such strong authentication mechanisms will provide an incredibly-high level of certainty that the drone is authorized and legal.

This means that both new hardware and software technologies may need to be brought to bear, in order to control “drone hijacking” and other related criminal misuse of drones.

The sky is the limit regarding drones & potential related jobs

Bottom Line: The sky is the limit regarding drones & potential related jobs

Having been involved in IT for over over 25 years, my industry insight leads me to believe that drones will have a number of applications that have not yet been fully imagined. In addition, with Congress prodding the FAA to review its regulations, in order to consider allowing commercial use of drones, the sky truly is the limit, regarding future hardware and software applications of drone technologies; including, but not limited to pizza delivery, courier tasks, postal mail delivery and more. Along with these uses will, of course, come new jobs related to drone licensing, operation and certification; as well as related hardware and software development for tracking, controlling and allowing for safe drone traffic flow.