UAV use in the media industry has grown substantially in the last year.
Major media outlets have put some serious thought and effort into making UAVs useful. Hailed as the future of journalism, its predicted that they will be common in the industry by the end of the year. Here are just five examples of where UAVs have already been utilised.
First up is the viral video that inspired start up charities like Matternet to use UAVs for the greater good. But let’s not detract from what is essentially a great publicity stunt and valuable promotion for Domino’s Pizza. The stunt was part of the UK franchise and involved two piping hot pizzas being delivered to a customers front doorstep. Much to the excitement of Domino’s customers who bombarded the company with emails asking when they could expect Domicopter’s in their areas. But this idea won’t be pursued in the US and it may be some time until it goes ahead in the UK.
The BBC’s Hexacopter covered the protests in Thailand’s Bangkok after Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra announced she’d dissolve parliament and call new elections. It comes as huge crowds of protesters converge on government house.
UK Winter Floods
The winter flooding in the UK provided the latest opportunity to test the capabilities of UAVs for video news gathering. A DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter filmed the floods of the River Severn in and around Worcester, capturing the scale of the floods. Thomas Hannen, senior innovations producer in its global video unit tested the hexacopter and said, “It’s an exciting new way to tell stories, taking us from a human level to a birdseye overview.”
Protests in Ukraine
Russia Today has been exploring UAV use for several years and recently covered protests in Turkey and Ukraine to test the technology. “Since the 2013 launch of RT’s video news agency (Ruptly), we have been widely testing drone technology and plan to use it in the nearest future in a number of territories where the use of drones for civil purposes does not violate legal restrictions,” a spokesman told Media Guardian. “The kind of content that drones can deliver is generally well received by [the] RT audience. But while this technology has several clear advantages, particularly those of access, it is not without its challenges. There are legal limits to drone journalism in many countries, including the United States and Russia.”
Soccer Cities Project
Finally, the BBC used UAVs for their Soccer Cities project underway in Brazil. The MY CITY crew from the BBC visited Rio de Janeiro and Salvador in Brazil ahead of the football World Cup this summer. To get a different perspective and truly capture the city, UAVs were used to show the city at its best ahead of Summer 2014. The video shows the potential that UAVs hold for film projects in the future.
These are just five examples of UAV use in the media industry. The potential for use is huge. What do you think? Is this likely to become more common in the industry? Will it replace news helicopters in the future?