Tag Archives: unmanned aircraft

One Step Closer To Blade Runner

On August 29, 2016, the FAA’s new drone laws go into effect. These regulations seek to both control unmanned aircraft usage and provide additional freedom to commercial enterprises that endeavor to put the devices to work. In an “internet of things,” these refined guidelines will have the effect of putting more “things” in the sky above our heads (at least up to 400 feet, anyway).

I feel like we are at a crossroads in human history right now. Self-flying planes. Self-driving cars. Decision-making houses. I imagine that any apprehension we feel is similar to that experienced by those who witnessed the first steam engine or automobile or television. We can either push back against the change or embrace it. Either way, history shows that it will occur whether we are on board or not.

In the Philip K. Dick / Ridley Scott masterpiece, Blade Runner, the futuristic Los Angeles skyline (circa 2019) is jam packed with flying traffic. Drenched citizens (it’s always raining for some reason) simply ignore the aircraft as they go about their daily lives working, playing and doing battle with homicidal androids (“Wake up, time to die.”). It’s science fiction, but not for long (consequently, keep a close eye on your Amazon ECHO just in case it’s up to no good).

Commerce, after all, is what makes the world go round, and business magnates like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are bound and determined to automate (and track) our everyday lives. That may seem unsettling, but without ticket sellers there would be no mass transportation. Without advertisers there would be no television. Without big data there would be no social media. Consider the potential of having your pizza delivered by an unmanned aircraft (which will happen soon in New Zealand) or your commute surrounded by cars that aren’t driven by sleepy humans who are constantly distracted. It isn’t going to be perfect, of course, but it will almost certainly be awesome once we get the kinks worked out.

Here at {code} Roadies, we don’t program drones or cars. We help our clients to create engaging websites. But I like to think that we’re also one small part of the future as it develops. We’re doing our part by embracing change and getting excited for innovation. Sooner or later the content we build is going to be shared by your house (as you view it on your LED video wall) or your vehicle (as your car drives itself). Perhaps your e-commerce site will automatically generate an order to an unmanned aircraft to deliver customer purchases.

No matter what comes next, let’s seize this crossroads together and make our future into something safe, profitable and productive.