The skies will be busier on Christmas morning, thanks to this year’s big ticket item. Drones, in all shapes and sizes, are filling pre-Christmas gift-buying lists ahead of the festive season.
In the electronics stores, drones are, as one store assistant described it, almost “literally flying off the shelves.” Stocked under “great gift ideas” signage, they are one of the big gadget presents of the year.
The DJI Phantom drone, which retails at £370 ($579), is so popular in electronics chain Maplin that it is now on back order in many store locations as the retailer struggles to keep up with demand. Drone makers DJI told Mashable it doesn’t comment on its sales publicly but said it has seen a substantial increase in demand from the UK market.
Less expensive mini drones like the Parrot rolling spider drone are recommended in Currys’ Christmas promotion booklet as “built for lasting family fun”, while a gift guide in The Sunday Times’ magazine suggested a quadcopter, commenting that “drones are the new twerking.”
But what happens on Dec. 25 when there’s a mass switch on of new devices, do people know what to do with them? Do they understand the law around drones and will your neighbour now be nosing into your business with their new flying contraption?
“It’s not just a toy. If it falls out of the sky and hits someone you could get in a lot trouble,” says Twiggy Garcia one of the founding members of the London Drone Users Group set up a couple of months ago.
“There are regulations now and no one wants to be the person who injures someone or brings down a plane or helicopter … it’s not the same as racing around an RC car on the floor.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com