Lack of Regulation Makes Drones a Danger and an Opportunity

September 6, 2016 - 2 minutes read


Drones are undeniably on the rise. Consumers are already getting used to the idea of drone package delivery, and San Diego mobile app developers are working with hardware developers to create ever-more user-friendly autopilot experiences. The big problem: drones are largely unregulated. The big opportunity: drones are largely unregulated.

Every new technology goes through a phase of rapid growth (with the associated big gains and big losses) followed by a plateau of stability (where the gains and losses become less dramatic). We saw it with the sharing economy, mobile tech in general, and the proliferation of touchscreen hardware devices. Now we’re seeing it with drones — the question for app developers is, who will come out on top?

After all, drones aren’t just a hardware opportunity. It’s the software that makes them “tick,” and it’s the software where startups could potentially see market-disrupting success in the coming years as commercial drones become mainstream. That means opportunity for San Diego app developers.

The FAA predicts the market will increase several times over within the year. App developers will be at the mercy of the market, with the possibility of new regulation crushing startup dreams always looming overhead. Yet at the same time, drone developers will be able to shape the laws and create expectations — among policymakers and consumers alike — of what drones are supposed to be. The time to create those expectations is now.

From personal security to commercial automation, the applications for drones among mobile app developers are widely varied. The first pioneers into this space will see astronomic wins and catastrophic failures as the market goes mainstream and becomes stable. Those on the sidelines have no risk — but of course, they also have no gain.

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