What happens when drones and people sync their vision?

The future of drone air traffic control?
April 5, 2016

Multiple recon drones in the sky all suddenly aim their cameras at a person of interest on the ground, synced to what persons on the ground see …

That could be a reality soon, thanks to an agreement just announced by the mysterious SICdrone, an unmanned aircraft system manufacturer, and CrowdOptic, an “interactive streaming platform that connects the world through smart devices.”

A CrowdOptic “cluster” — multiple people focused on the same object.  (credit: CrowdOptic)

CrowdOptic’s technology lets a “cluster” (multiple people or objects) point their cameras or smartphones at the same thing (say, at a concert or sporting event), with different views, allowing for group chat or sharing content.

Drone air control

For SICdrone, the idea is to use CrowdOptic tech to automatically orchestrate the drones’ onboard cameras to track and capture multiple camera angles (and views) of a single point of interest.* Beyond that, this tech could provide vital flight-navigation systems to coordinate multiple drones without having them conflict (or crash), says CrowdOptic CEO Jon Fisher.

This disruptive innovation might become essential (and mandated by law?) as AmazonFlirtey, and others compete to dominate drone delivery. It could also possibly help with the growing concern about drone risk to airplanes.**

Other current (and possible) users of CrowdOptics tech include first responders, news and sports reporting, advertising analytics (seeing what people focus on), linking up augmented-reality and VR headset users, and “social TV” (live attendees — using the Periscope app, for example — provide the most interesting video to people watching at home), Fisher explained to KurzweilAI.

* This uses several CrowdOptic patents (U.S. Patents 8,527,340, 9,020,832, and 9,264,474).

** Drone Comes Within 200 Feet Of Passenger Jet Coming In To Land At LAX