We’ve been in Las Vegas for a few days already, setting up the booth and preparing ourselves for the crazy week that is CES 2020. Drones are a large part of the show, even if there are few expected announcements for new machines.
Instead of seeing tons of new drones, we’re seeing new uses for drones. Companies like DJI are announcing Lidar sensors, to enhance drone usage, new purchasing packages are on deck to enhance the flight experience for new buyers, and passenger drones continue to capture the imagination.
Here’s what we expect to see from CES 2020.
First and foremost, laws. That’s right, new drone laws are inbound for the United States. Commercial pilots are dealing with a new testing system starting January 13th, but hobby pilots are soon to follow. We expect to hear more about the purpose and reasons for drone licensing for hobby pilots from Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, during her keynote presentation.
Creating the laws is more if a topic for AUVSI Xponential and Interdrone, but finding ways to work within those laws is an anytime electronics task. We’ve already had a chat with WhiteFox Defense about their new counter-drone technology. Remember, most forms of counter-drone technology are illegal to use for us pilots at home, so watch out for our coverage to learn a bit more about what you can do to protect yourself from rogue drones.
Remote ID is also a big topic, with more companies slinging the phrase than we thought would be. This is a good thing. I know, you don’t have to like the fact that remote ID is coming, but it is, so it’s time to figure out how to work with it. It’s still early for remote ID, the FAA has not published the full standards on it, so please don’t buy any products just yet.
I’m sorry to say, we do not have expectation for many new drones. Sure, there will be a handful of new or improved models from a lot of the up-and-coming or toy-class manufacturers, but the likes of DJI, Yuneec, Parrot and more have not advertised any major new product releases. We hope that turns out to be wrong, we’d love to see some new flying machines from these brands, but we’re not holding our breath.
DJI, of course, will be at CES with a vengeance. They know how to attract a crowd, bringing all their best drones, cameras, robots and more to their booth. We expect their booth to be so busy that we’re planning to record interviews with them at their booth and at our booth, just in case the crowds are too much. Watch for our drone-focused coverage here on Drone Rush, then we’ll put some content onto Android Authority that is more general info about the company and their products.
We have plenty of meetings planned for the week. You can expect to hear about Swellpro, PowerVision, Blue Innovation, Sunflower Labs, Propel, and more. We’re selling you short on this list, we will be walking the show floor for three full days to see it all. There’s always fluff that won’t make it to the site, but no doubt there is lots to see.
In our world of drones right now, there is absolutely more room for a new company to step in with accessories than with a new drone. DJI is tough to compete with, though we want to see as much competition as we can. The great flying machines that we already know and love are getting powerful new uses around the globe thanks to new payloads and attachments.
A lot of drone accessory manufacturers are showing up with 3D printed parts, the sort of landing gear and light mounts you can snag from a number of vendors on Amazon or eBay. The new accessories we are looking forward to offer new functionality.
Perhaps the best example of this is a new camera mount coming from a 360 degree camera company that we’ve worked with before. We can’t actually talk about that yet, but you’ll only have to wait a day or two to find out more.
More than drones
We have a full team here at CES 2020, including our Drone Rush family, members from Android Authority, and the majority of the SoundGuys team. We’ll be working closely with them all through the week, lending some of our time to help them with some of their content as well. There’s a lot to see and do at CES, we’ll get through as much as we can. Stay tuned to all of the sites for all the coverage.
We’re most excited for our fun Drones of CES video coming after the shows wraps up. Watch for that next week.