AdWeek reported today (and with spectacular video footage), “Intel Beautifully Lit Up the Desert Sky With the First FAA-Approved Drone Swarm: Palm Springs stunt offers a glimpse of what’s to come“.
Watching the Intel produced beautiful marketing footage backed with emotive music, one is easy to feel inspired with awe by the seeming magical ability to fly 100 drones in choreographed formations that can easily evoke feelings when people watch fireworks explode in the sky! Absolutely stunning view!
While AdWeek jokingly mentioned alien invasion, “Though for accidental, uninformed witnesses, such eye candy might also conjure fears of an alien invasion.” It also stated clearly, “But once the FAA’s rules go into effect, anyone who passes an aeronautical knowledge test every two years will be able fly a drone—and everyone everywhere will get used to seeing bright flashes zipping around overhead.”
Aeronautical knowledge test only for now. Do we need more?
Lets conduct a thought experiment. Drones can carry a payload. In fact, Amazon.com talked/hyped about delivering packages using drones as reported recently as in April and then in a CNN report yesterday, “Forget drones. Jeff Bezos continues to invest in a 20th century flying innovation that helps deliver all of its packages — airplanes.”
Now, imagine 100 drones (or 1,000 drones in the future (potentially in the not too distant future) as claimed by the Intel promo video) carrying a payload flying in choreographed formation, in fact just flying in a straight line one after another towards an unsuspecting target.
There are existing anti-drone countermeasures available in the market that can disable drones to help defend passenger jets and vital facilities. Some even claim to be able to “detect the location of whoever is remotely piloting the drone, allowing police to swoop in and arrest them.”
Drone swarm flying in choreographed formations are beautiful like fireworks in the sky. But both utilize technologies that can be used for destruction and harm.
P.S. This article is cross posted to examiner.com by the author.
P.P.S. Here is a “Making of Drone 100” video.