The word “drone” elicits many responses – excitement, curiosity, and even confusion. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are still a mystery. It may seem like they’ve burst onto the business and consumer scene, but their potential has yet to be fully realized. Research firm Garner predicts the global market revenue for drones will top $11 billion by 2020. The removal of barriers and increased commercialization are helping drones have a large impact on modern business. Here are a few ways drones will transform the face of business in years to come.

1. Automation

Technology has had a huge influence on workplace productivity. Drones are no exception. Drones provide aerial data that can help automate many tedious tasks. They provide a perspective unavailable from the ground or from airplanes and satellites. This unique perspective can streamline work that requires mapping or recording of surfaces. Take farmers for example. Drones can provide farmers with an easy scan of their crop inventory and irrigation systems. They can even automate a drone to spray pesticides and fertilizer in minutes. Aerial mapping and scanning can automate processes that would otherwise require time and resources.

2. Delivery

Convenience is king in a world filled with UberEATS and Amazon Prime. But that’s only the beginning. Drone-based delivery services could change the way consumers shop forever. Imagine a world where your next retail item is delivered via drone airdrop. That world might come sooner rather than later. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced plans for Amazon Prime Air. The new delivery system will safely transport Amazon items under 55 pounds to consumers by drone in under 30 minutes.  This delivery system is still in its beginning phases. But, if successful, drone-based delivery could turn the pizza boy into a thing of the past.


 3. Wi-Fi

Over half of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to internet. That number might soon change thanks to drone technology. Drones could potentially bring internet usage to billions of users in the near future. This could further globalize the world and lower barriers to doing business with less developed areas of the world. Google has already announced a plan to increase internet signals via balloons and are also considering drones as a source for the same thing. Other tech companies are expected to follow suit. Titan Aerospace, owned by Facebook, has already completed a test flight on an Internet drone in an effort to bring internet to the developing world.

4. Building Projects

The world of construction might look quite different thanks to drone technology. Construction teams and architecture firms rely heavily on images in project preparation. Aerial footage can streamline building projects during the initial concept phase. Drones can help automate this process. Building teams can take drone footage into their 3D renderings, topographical maps, and measurements. This can expedite project duration, lower costs, and even help make buildings safer.  Companies such as DroneDeploy have already begun to develop software catered to this market.

5. Media

Drones are changing the way we capture and imagine parts of the world. So it makes sense that drone technology is having an impact on how we digest these images. For example, some news teams use drone footage as a cheaper alternative to helicopter footage. Drones are not only helping save money on media coverage, but they’re also helping to create better media. Drones are sleek and easy to maneuver. They can capture images that are more dynamic than those captured by a large aircraft. Drones are also changing the way photographers and filmmakers capture content. Everyone from Hollywood directors to large-scale media operations is embracing the medium.

The world has yet to see just how much of an influence drones will have in business. Drone technology is still in its infancy, but their impact is becoming clearer. Drones are already transforming a variety of industries, and if experts are to be believed, they will be dominating the business world for decades to come.

This post was originally featured on the Talented Technologies blog.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.