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Drones & Virtual Reality: The Next Big Thing?

Among the most talked about technologies today, are Virtual Reality (VR) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or as most call them – drones. What is it about these that makes them popular? For one we know that they provide an experience like no other, be it experiencing real life like videos or getting a bird’s eye view from high up in the air and clicking great aerial photographs. We know that VR has been extensively promoted and used for entertainment purposes, so is the case with drones. However, we can now see a boom in the usage of these technologies in various industries like agriculture, construction, engineering, real estate, etc. Combining the capabilities of VR and UAVs opens up more possibilities. Imagine controlling the movement of a drone camera by just turning your head while simultaneously seeing whatever the drone camera sees, the convenience this brings to getting footage is tremendous.

Industry Advantage

Usage of VR and UAVs particularly can enhance inspections industry, where all the user has to do is put on a VR headset and use a drone to inspect the facility needed, from more angles than manually possible. The need to manually travel all over the facility is completely eliminated.
In the construction industry, this technology can be used to monitor movement of resources, construction progress, perform safety inspections without any probability of personal injury, analyze effects of surroundings etc. Similarly, in the manufacturing industry one could use VR + UAV capabilities to analyze movement of material or figure out ways to optimize capacity or space. Getting a high level view of a location can provide a lot of insights on space optimization and usage.

In the real estate industry, VR is being used to give tours of properties, bringing UAVs into the equation gives users/customers independence to conveniently explore. Giving them this real life like experience, would enable them to get a good look and feel of the place leading to faster/easier decisions. Getting a bird’s eye view of the location would also help a customer gauge the neighborhood to make better choices.

A real estate buyer’s decision is almost never limited to simply what exists inside the walls of a home or building; rather, the most critical information he or she can have relates to the universally known rule of pricing real estate: location, location, location. Virtual reality can help an interested prospect interact with a neighborhood and take hold of the views and scenery he or she might expect to experience with the property. Enterprising real estate agents and brokers can provide VR technology clients to help expedite the client’s buying decision and extract a pricing premium. A virtual home is also a great place to present products and services that you can buy for yourself.

Companies Innovating with VR

There are a number of large firms already making headway into the VR space, both utilizing the technology as a service and developing products to be used by others. Commercial real estate titan CBRE recently made a significant step towards getting ahead in this space when it announced its acquisition of Floored, Inc., a company that enables its customers to interact with virtual office and retail environments.
Other firms are also finding unique ways to leverage the technology. Intel plans to use VR and drones in the sports industry to broadcast live games, or play on-demand. Companies such as Oculus, Yuneec, and Zeiss are hard at work developing state-of-the-art, drone-compatible VRs or FPV goggles, and others such as DJI and Parrot offering VR headsets as drone accessories.

With companies like DJI, Intel, Samsung entering the First Person View (FPV) goggles market, we can be sure to spot more and more people applying these services into fascinating and never before thought of applications.

How could drones and VR help your industry?


About the Author

Adam Shore

Adam is a Central Florida alum who recently left the Orlando area to relocate to Denver, where he enjoys shooting aerial photography of the Rocky Mountains. And to ski. He is a member of the AMA and was been a drone photographer since the early days of the industry. Follow him @dronegenuity.