The evolution of technology continues to be a wonderful thing. Try and play a game from the Atari era today; you will not be able to make it past the loading screen. Think back to how we used to try and find a new restaurant, club, or friend’s house without a GPS system. Consider the hilariously large phones jutting from your ear when making a phone call. Our lives today are made easier with every passing invention.
As we all well know, everything that is available to us also has a flip side. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And while it not may be perfectly level and parallel, technology shares the same fate. Smart phone technology gave us a window to how incredibly easy it can be to find a good restaurant in a city off the beaten path or to capture a spontaneous moment that old technology could not. However, smart phones completely blurred the lines between reality and falsehood; personal space and breach of our privacy. How do we know if that person on the street is taking a picture of themselves or of someone else and making fun of them on the instant satisfaction world of social media?
A new threat has emerged in the our quickly-evolving world: drones. Drones have been in use for a long time by mostly government agencies and the military. Five years ago, when the word drone entered your brain, your first thought was an air-strike or a spying mission during a war or skirmish. Today, drones are slowly seeping their way into the public sector. People now have the ability to fly drones with cameras and other technologies to capture footage from the safety of the air. Recently, an unusual case occurred in the state of Kentucky. A homeowner’s daughter alerted him about a drone that flew above the house with some sort of a camera attached. The man grabbed a shotgun and destroyed the drone, citing the fact that he did not want others taking footage of his daughter and family. The individual is now facing criminal charges for the destruction of the drone. The legal issues involving this case are extremely convoluted, but the drone entered the man’s property without his consent. Should he just stand there and let the drone do whatever it wants? The situation is very tricky and will probably go through multiple legal battles from different cases in the upcoming years.
Drones can also be a considerable weapon in the hands of people who do not understand correct flying methods. The University of Kentucky had their home opener last Saturday and a student crash landed a drone inside of the stadium. During the US Open for tennis, an unmanned drone flew over two players heads before smashing into a seat. Personally, I do not want to think about the damage these objects can do when in the hands of people who have no clue how to operate them.
Finally, drones are also being considered in the world of commerce. Amazon opened a new division of their company known as Amazon Air. The concept behind Amazon Air is to have drones deliver products to people via drones. A cool idea in theory, but who is to stop someone from shooting an Amazon drone out of the air and take the contents?
Drones in themselves have a lot of future potential. However, until they are perfected and understood, drones can be very problematic for those who appreciate their privacy and safety.
(Thanks to CNN for some of this story’s content.)