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Drone Girl

Here’s just how crazy popular drones have gotten in the past year

This is an excerpt of a story originally written for MarketWatch.com. Read the entire story here.

The drone industry only keeps flying higher. Drone sales grew 224% year-over-year, according to a report from The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service.
Within that period, the 2015 holiday season was a big winner for drones, as unit sales increased 445% from the prior holiday season.

Federal requirements that drone operators must register did nothing to hurt sales of drones, as drone sales doubled month over month between October and December 2015, according to The NPD Group’s report. Many drone operators initially resisted registration because they feared giving away personal information to a federal database and were opposed to the $5 registration fee. Since registration opened in December 2015, there are now nearly half a million drone users in the U.S., according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s database.cs01
But for such a futuristic piece of technology, young people aren’t the ones buying drones. 90% of drone buyers are older than 31, according to a separate report from Colin Snow‘s Skylogic Research.

Read the rest of this story here.

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The Drone Girl joins Instagram

It’s official! I finally got with the year 2016 and have joined Instagram! Follow me at @OfficialDroneGirl.

You can get exclusive Dronestagrams, just like this!

Instagram Photo

Happy flying!

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Drone Life features The Drone Girl in new series

I had the honor of chatting with Drone Life in their latest series that profiles women in the drone industry.

When asked what aspect of the drone industry she finds most interesting, the Drone Girl answers with enthusiasm, and it’s easy to see how her passion for the industry has spread to her fans.  “I don’t find any one thing most interesting – it’s all interesting!” she says.   “I’m in love with the really creative applications of the drones – like DJI’s new program to save elephants by flying drones emitting bee noises in order to move them off of crops where they might be shot by farmers. I love those kind of stories…I’m always surprised by the technology.”

Read the rest of the profile on their site.

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Randi Zuckerberg interviews the Drone Girl

I had the honor of sharing my experience as the Drone Girl with Randi Zuckerberg for her LinkedIn series, #52Women52Weeks.

Read the entire piece here. For now, here are some excerpts:

How did you find your passion for drones? 
It found me! Seriously. I needed one more elective credit to graduate, and the only thing that fit in my schedule was a Monday afternoon “Drone Journalism” class. It was the first year of the class, so I didn’t know what it was, but I signed up and fell in love with it. After the class, I got my own drone and started writing about it.

What do you see next in the future of drones?
Sense and avoid technology is so important in making drone use in populated areas feasible. We won’t have urban drone delivery until drones can sense the moving world around them. What’s awesome is that one of the largest drone creators, DJI, just debuted a drone that has two sensors in front so it can see what’s ahead of it. The next iteration of drones will have more (and smarter) sensors, meaning a future of deliveries, search and rescue missions, building inspections, window washing and more is that much closer.

How can we better create a gender-neutral tech community?For being such a new industry, drones are really male dominated, which is unfortunate because working in the field of drones doesn’t require any type of ability that a man would have but a woman wouldn’t. It’s funny you asked, because I’ve actually seen advertisements for two different drone conferences this week where the speaker lineup was 100% male. Making tech more gender neutral is on a lot of people, but I also think a lot of it is unconscious bias. When I was in the drone class, the student makeup was 4 male and 4 female students. Whenever we used the drone for projects, the professor only offered the men in the class a chance to fly it. He never said, “women can’t fly,” but I think he assumed we wouldn’t want to, or maybe weren’t as good pilots. That’s really not fair, but I was too afraid to speak up and ask for my turn to fly. Ironically, none of the men in that class are still flying drones anymore, but a couple of the women are!


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Drone Gaming: what to expect

Drones have gained popularity worldwide over the last 24 months, with the industry expected to be worth approximately $5.6 billion by 2020, according to a Markets and Markets report. There will be a 32% annual growth, according to the report. Many industries are now looking at leveraging the technology, particularly the gaming sector eyeing the use of drones with the help of mobile devices.

The gaming industry expects plenty of new changes, as innovative platforms and technologies are being launched year-on-year. Apart from drones, we’ve seen how virtual reality (VR) has greatly influenced the sector. Mobile devices have also seen greatly affecting the gaming domain, as even games that were once only available in physical form are now available on digital formats. Board and card games now have apps, while machine games have been now into online games, such as Slingo, which can now be accessed via mobile devices and on PCs. Smartphones and tablets have played an important role in drone gaming, too.

And in the drone sector, the world’s first smartphone-controlled gaming drone successfully reached its funding goal last year. Created by German company TobyRich, the Kickstarter project reached €102,003 (about $115,000) in funding due to 587 backers. The drone will be powered by a smartphone with gaming joysticks on the screen. Through its supported free Android or iOS app, gamers will be able to engage in single and multiplayer dogfights, air races and stunts no matter what the setting. It will be able to augment reality through actual camera feeds from the drone, giving users a host of games to tackle.

Additionally, it looks like Drone Racing could well be the next big thing in gaming. The idea involves cameras mounted on drones to give players a first-person view into an impressive high-speed race, reminiscent of “Star Wars” pod racing. Experts are hopeful the engaging, virtual, and realistic gaming experience can reel more players in.

“It’s early days, but we have been seeing a lot of demand for investment in this industry (drone gaming),” said Andrew Chanin, CEO of PureFunds.

Drone racing from league IDRA is set to air on ESPN3 this summer, while another group, the Drone Racing League, announced in January that it raised $8 million in funding, including investment from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s venture-capital firm RSE Ventures. Other investors included Hearst Ventures, CAA Ventures and Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy, according to a Jan. 21 SEC filing.


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