Drones first came into Super Bowl headlines with the FAA’s announcement that the game would be out of bounds for drones. While the space over a stadium is widely accepted as restricted, the FAA’s “No Drone Zone” was almost 35 miles – prompting drone advocate John Goglia to call it “Ridiculous” in his Forbes headline.
Drones made it into the headlines again just a few days later when security officers at the Falcons practice, taking place at Rice University, grounded a drone flown by someone living in the neighborhood. The team was practicing under tight security due to the field’s proximity to residences.
Drones were still a part of the big night. As the advertisements demonstrated, drones are edging into the mainstream – even if they’re still at the high tech edge. Drones were featured in the teaser ads for a new police show: one where a billionaire takes over the police force. They were in the Ebay advertisement, as one of the great things you might be able to purchase with money earned on Ebay. And they were front and center in Amazon’s brief advertisement for Amazon Prime. The advertisement demonstrated residential drone delivery, with the fine print caveat “Prime Air is not available in some states (or any really). Yet.” Still, the ad is significant. It shows that Amazon is ready to move out of reporting in tech magazines and blogs, and start doing the real work of convincing the public that drone delivery is going to a worthwhile feature of traffic in the sky.
The drone showcase, of course, was the halftime show. Lady Gaga’s stunning show featured Intel’s shooting star drones, creating precise, fireworks-like light shows in the air. The halftime drones weren’t live – due to the flight restrictions mentioned above – but they were stunning and will likely be featured, as a kind of next-gen fireworks display, in many more spectacles.
While the game doesn’t yet include a drone ball drop onto the field, drones were still present at the big game – and will be more and more.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.