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CES Asia 2016: Innovative drones stimulate industry and ideas


05-16-2016 05:30 BJT

Drones have created a buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show Asia in Shanghai. What is so special about them? And what does the future hold for this industry?

Like an eye in the sky, drones are capturing the attention...and the hearts of many. Easy to fly, these remote-controlled drones are commonplace. For now, they are primarily used for photography and video-recording.

"I think they are a very good toy. For the photographing industry perhaps this is an innovation, you can take really big bird view, panoramic photos, all those photos if you could," Visitor Chris Liu said.

According to investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, global spending in the drone industry will exceed 100-billion US dollars by 2020.

Over the next few years, more advanced, innovative drones are expected to come, as robotics and other technologies meet.

"What that means is that the drone will be capable of doing things for you. Whether it's the movement or delivery, or scaring a bird off of a farm, or whatever it's going to be -- harvesting or used in military, you would see the application of the drone," Michael Faro, CEO of Mota, said.

And one Chinese company steps up to try its hand at the drones' commercial application.

"What we're looking to do is we're looking to reach the countryside where there may not be very good infrastructure, there might not be roads to get the packages to the people, and so truck deliveries probably not a great option. So by using the drones we can go over those areas and drop them directly into the villages and then have them distribute it from there," Josh Gartner, senior diretor of Internatinal Communication at JD.com, said.

With rapid developments in the promising industry, companies also realise the importance of regulation.

For drone manufacturers, operators, and governments worldwide, safety a major concern. And it is crucial that global drone manufacturers collaborate with governments.

"More often than not the tech industry needs a light touch when it comes to regulation, but when we look at drones and this emerging market, we know we need rules. We're integrating this new technology into the national airspace. For that reason to support safe integration of national airspace we need a set of rules. It's important for safety but also important for certainty in the industry in its long term planning and growth," Douglas K. Johnson, vice president of technology policy of Consumer Technology Association, said.

There might be uncertainty in the air for now. But given the drones' soaring popularity, it is clear that there is only one way the industry can go -- up.

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