No, you will not be able to pull up an app on your phone and be chauffeured to your destination via drone – at least not yet. But two students at Ball University have taken the ever-popular Uber service model and applied it to commercial drones for people wanting aerial drone photography and video service. When Matt King and Greg Carbo realized that people would be more than willing to rent these services if there were any easy, Uber-esque method powering it, Droning About was born.
Launched in April, Droning About is a startup that is rapidly recruiting drone operators to rent out to a sizeable customer base that wants aerial drone photography and videography. King and Carbo’s goal is to apply this Uber model to drones, creating the world’s largest drone company, all without owning a single drone of its own. Hey, it’s worked wonders for Uber’s taxi service. With a target demo of farmers, real-estate professionals and vineyards, Droning About hopes to help this base show their properties and landscapes from astounding and stunning aerial views, without having to buy the equipment and learning how to pilot drones themselves.
As of now, interested parties can log into the Droning About website in order to search for nearby drone pilots that you can request and rent in order to ascertain aerial photo or video footage that will be edited for you into a polished final product. The major difference from Uber, which Droning About has so liberally borrowed from, is pricing. Real estate photos are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, only costing a few hundred dollars. Those looking for multispectral imaging of land can expect to shell out something closer to $10,000. Despite those piggybank emptying prices, these types of photos are quite useful – farmers can study aerial photography to determine the health of their crops and identify areas that might need more water, while larger companies can utilize this service to inspect power lines.
All drone pilots with Droning About are licensed with the Federal Aviation Administration, which requires you to have a license to shoot commercial drone footage. With a stockpile of qualified drone pilots at its disposal, Droning About is conducting some nitty-gritty guerilla marketing to spread the word about their service and to expand their brand. The company has been reaching out to prominent real-estate agents, who are finding more and more that people expect aerial footage of properties before they consider buying. Larger listings are specifically singled out, as those are houses that people particularly want to see from the eyes of a drone. For all intent and purpose, it looks like the sky’s the limit for Droning About.