CNET published a list of drones from the CES 2017 in Las Vegas that wrapped up January 8th. While the list of 23 drones is not a comprehensive review of what is going on in the drone industry, it does provide some insight into trends in consumer drones.
Drones that have a ‘follow me’ me function have been hot for a while, but what we see developing now is versions of these kind of drones that are small, foldable and are referred to as ‘selfie drones’.
Basically, these drones open up a new way to share on social networks. While this trend could have legs the team at Drone Dossier is much more excited that normal consumer drones are starting to offer standard packages that have more than attached camera and video capabilities.
A number of drones at the CES, including the Yuneec H520, have options that include thermal cameras. While LIDAR and other sensors are still too expensive to include, this is definitely an exciting development for drone functionality. In a lot of ways a drone is just a flying platform for different types of sensors and as more types of sensors become affordable the capabilities of consumer drones will increase.
CNET’s list also brings up the work of two companies—GoPro and Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi. At the CES, GoPro announced that they had found the reason behind the problems with their Karma drone (faulty battery clip) and said that in February they would release more information about the future of their failed drone. This could mean that Karma will go back on the market. Chinese company Xiaomi showed off their ‘Mi Drone’ which they launched in July. Xiaomi is taking the same approach was there mobile phones by loading their drones with a lot of features at a low price.