Over the recent years drones have become an increasingly common feature of our skyline, but I bet you didn’t know that drones in one form or another have actually been around for over 150 years! The first recorded use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was in 1849 when the Austrians attacked Venice using unmanned balloons loaded with explosives. Over a century later, the 1960s first saw drones used for military surveillance. However, it was in 1995 when GPS became fully operational that the use of drones really developed. Since then, aerial drones have been used extensively in military conflicts around the globe, but as technology progresses some companies have come to realise that you can use drones for so much more than warfare.
For instance, did you ever think you could have your pizza delivered by a drone? In 2013 Dominos made headlines after releasing footage of a pizza delivery by a small drone. Amazon are also developing their own fleet of service drones, so when you order a book it could be with you a lot quicker than you think!
With commercial giants like Amazon and Dominos starting to trial the use of drones, it was only a matter of time before they would be used for security purposes. Now numerous companies have started to offer their clients the best high-tech protection possible. So where are we most likely to see drones working?
Airport Security – London Gatwick airport are already using “Skyranger” drones with on-board high-definition cameras that take snapshots and forward them to officers using portable consoles up to half a kilometre away.
Event Protection – The 2014 football world cup in Brazil used drones in order to secure the event. Providing 24-hour air surveillance over high-traffic areas, the UAVs were used to track crowds for any sign of disturbance to local law enforcement officers and security companies.
Remote Surveillance – A UAV will be capable of tracking moving subjects thanks to its laser sensors. Upon technology improvement drones will likely patrol at-risk areas 24 hours a day, acting as a deterrent against break-ins.
Personal Security – Worryingly, it’s already under development – but how about a personal security drone with a built-in Taser system? This would disable intruders or criminals when they trigger an alarm.
But can we trust drones to replace CCTV cameras? The main issue with a drone is the battery life. Imagine it has a criminal or intruder under surveillance and the battery dies at a critical moment. Other concerns are whether the lighting is good enough to provide surveillance during the night, and internet speed and connectivity. Getting footage to a remote monitoring station as quickly as possible is essential for CCTV to be successful. Will drones have that capability?
The technology available today is something our ancestors could never imagine, but how many of us actually dared consider that drones could be an option for security surveillance?