The Way Of The Future: Armed Drones or Civilian Drones?
In the wake of 9/11 and of course the subsequent “War On Terror”, there have been enough drone strikes to fill out an entire library’s worth of information itself. Not surprisingly, there have been enough instances of drones being used in the commercial and civilian sector as well, from transport to even food delivery! Clearly that’s enough of an indication that the future is finally here.
From 2010 to now, it is safe to say that the drone made its first few inroads into popular culture as a whole. So I guess the million dollar question is this – Are we primarily going to use drones to reshape the future of warfare or will it be much more feasible and sensible to introduce them into the civilian sector instead? To some people the answer is a no brainer, but then again in the future, literally anything is possible. That is both scary and exhilarating. Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the possibilities:
- More countries adopting armed drones into their arsenal of weapons: This is quite the alarming possibility. The United States is by no means alone in this quest: several other countries including Pakistan, Israel and the U.K have used them on numerous occasions. Although at the moment they are being used primarily for counter-insurgency warfare and domestic warfare, they might just end up changing the way humanity looks at warfare later on.The verdict is still out about the fact that drones may end up enhancing security in border disputed areas in the near future as they are still quite vulnerable to air defense systems, but the main factor is stealth. Enough future predictions have been made about future drones becoming the epitome of stealth, making it harder for even modern-day radar systems to spot them.
- In the civilian sector, drones have already begun to break boundaries: It may become the next best thing for a photographer enabling he/she to capture stunning views that would otherwise not be possible to capture. This summer marked the onset of the first drone delivery in the United States, which by itself, could mark the dawning of a new age. Japan have started using drones to spray crops on fertilizers and other tasks that involve thermal imaging.The tech giants Google and Facebook have also begun on a quest of a similar kind to use drones in order to grant internet access to some of the most remote areas on the globe. Whenever you think that this is far fetched, just remember one thing – the technology is still in its infancy stage at this point. So the bottom line is: their potential is infinite. There are already predictions underway that predict drones becoming a 90 billion dollar industry within the next decade itself. Now that’s quite a colossal number, even by international standards.
One thing is for sure – the commercial drone market will continue to grow, maybe even exponentially thus leading to the surprising possibility of one in every third American household having a drone in the not-so-distant future. Although the fact of the matter still is that whenever the word “drone” is uttered, our minds automatically leap to an anonymous and sinister surveillance/killing machine, this perception may be subject to change in the future.
However, as of now the large majority of society still has to come to terms with the technological leap that the drone has provided us, so ultimately how we portray them in popular culture (be it through books, fine art, music or movies, for that matter) will ultimately determine how we think and talk about drones on an everyday basis.