Now this really is an interesting iOS app. Gofor is a new company that is promoting the idea of drones on demand. You want to take the ultimate selfie? Scout ahead to see if the road is clear or just find a parking space? You need an on-demand drone and a mobile app.
It is difficult to tell how realistic this idea is because there are huge problems with the legality of commercial drones, not to mention the few technical difficulties. However, if you watch the promo video you might get a little excited about the idea and start to think up your own crazy uses for your personal on-demand drone.
It is a slick little promo and it makes the idea of an on-demand drone seem almost reasonable. But ... if you are going to run a fleet of on-demand drones they have to have a good flight time so we are not talking about small electric powered quadrotors - these have to be big gas-driven drones.
The regulations surrounding the flying of such big craft haven't been worked out yet and some places have even banned all forms of commercial drone. What happens when one crashes onto a crowd of people, for example?
The blurb suggests that some drones will be autonomous and under your control via the app. This in itself would need some very advanced software on both ends of the connection and a fast connection. It is also suggested that some drones would be piloted by skilled people at some sort of command center.
"Depending on the task, drones either operate autonomously or are flown by skilled operators. Location scouting, HD documentation, personal security, telepresence, internet range extension, and free flight are just a few task examples. "
Supposing you can make the whole thing safe, then it might stand a chance. The app could summon a drone using its GPS for location and the internet to communicate with the drone. This means the drone has to have a good internet connection and a satellite link seems like the best option, but the technology for this isn't easy to get right.
The idea of using the phones flash to "pair" with the drone is a nice one and it could even be used to signal additional data. All in all it really is a nice idea
What is surprising is that Gofor says:
"The initial release is limited to five cities in the US."
So far there's no indication of what the price might be or if they really are actually operational. You are invited to contact Gofor's co-founders Alex Cornell and Phil Mills for more information
It doesn't matter because it really does provide a spark to make you start thinking about the idea.
A Vision Mobile report in its IoT series about Open Source based on the findings of the 10th edition Developer Economics is now available and we have the highlights. Meanwhile there's still a few days [ ... ]