So What Should Go Under the Tree This Year? The Drones Discussion Continues

On Twitter today, as I was posting more information and pictures from InfoComm Connections, I saw this one from good friend and UAV expert Christina Engh who appeared on our techXchange episode 7 podcast:

And I believe she would most definitely be putting one of these under her tree for the kids…


Now I have to admit that my kids are grown and won’t be looking to get Legos or Barbies – Amazon and Starbucks gift certificates do for them – however others that I know will certainly be getting these added to their kids’ Santa list requests, especially the Legos. In fact here is what IBM’s Watson had to say about this in the referenced article:

Watson predicts three of the most in-demand Lego sets will likely sell out this year – Star Wars (including the new Millennium Falcon set), Lego City and Friends. Your best bet, it says, is to grab the one(s) you want in the pre-Black Friday sales that are going on now, rather than holding out for a better deal.

Millenium Falcon lego

And a “Pro Tip” from the writer:

Pro-tip for parents: If your child wants Legos, head to the toy store on your lunch hour or way home this evening.

So how glad am I that my kids are grown?

OK, granted not all kids will be asking for Legos and Barbies and there are those past the stage of asking for such presents in the first place (although I’m sure I know some adults who will wrestle the parents for the Millennium Falcon Lego kit…). However where gifts go, the plethora of tech gadgets that exist today can satisfy kids of all ages, as well as the adults who set out to put those gifts under the tree for themselves in the first place. I’m sure Best Buy, Apple, Brookstone and other stores employees’ will be near life support after the dust of Black Friday has finally cleared.

Yes here we go – Drones. While the AV industry continues to explore the discussion of drones in the commercial space, consumers continue to focus on the latest and greatest in drone technology. Companies such as DJI and Yuneec continue to innovate and offer ground-breaking UAV technologies – here are two videos, one from each:

DJI Phantom 3 standard

Also available Phantom 3 Pro

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K

Without a doubt, drones are certainly hot talk in the consumer market. In the industry, Pro AV distributor Stampede, who include Drones and Unmanned Solutions among their vast amount of product lines, has appeared at numerous events and trade shows (including NAB and InfoComm) to talk about the world of UAV’s and Drones in the broadcast and commercial AV space.

Eric Jameson headshotIn fact, Eric Jameson (Product Manager, Drones at Stampede), whom I met at Stampede’s Big Book of AV Tour event here in Northern VA, recently appeared as a speaker at InfoComm Connections in New York to present Unmanned Vehicle University: Drone Video Systems to Broadcast and Capture Live Events. According to the session description:

A recent Market Watch study estimates that by 2021, the commercial drone market will be worth 4.8 billion dollars. This session will help attendees understand the opportunity this reality presents to pro-AV dealers. Jameson will discuss Drone Video Systems (DVS), which provides dealers with the drone products, services, and expertise they need to take advantage of this multi-billion dollar business opportunity.

With all of this, Stampede has become fully invested in drones technology in the AV market. Take a look at this Stampede blog Drone Video Systems: A Budding New AV Category where Kevin Kelly, president and COO at Stampede is quoted: “The commercial demand for drones by end-users is well-established,” says Kevin Kelly, president and COO of Stampede. “Government agencies, universities and corporations understand the value derived from integrating drones into their business operations. However, what has yet to be established, at least prior to the introduction of Stampede’s DVS solutions, is a single place to turn to learn about, design and build their drone solution.”

Christina Engh, COO of UAS Solutions Group (working in partnership with Stampede) is also seriously examining the usage of drones in the commercial AV space. It’s also worth noting that Stampede’s strategic alliance with Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU), along with with their technology partnership with videoconferencing solutions provider Vidyo (which was introduced at InfoComm in June) can certainly be considered driving forces as well.

While Watson predicted Lego sets, Hello Barbie, Nikon DSLR’s, Nike running shoes (naturally) and more in tall order going under the tree, drones didn’t appear to make the list. However if you listen to the experts, while drones under the tree may not be Watson’s choice, they are without a doubt becoming all the rage for consumers – and soon potentially commercial AV. Yet there is certainly further discussion to be had on this as well in terms of related topics – more to come on UAV and drones technology in the industry.

Oh, and about that Hello Barbie…

Why parents should say goodbye to Hello Barbie