Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Space Needle Drone Flight

If you’re having a bad day, watch this: A skilled drone pilot launched a drone that buzzed the space needle.

I don’t know if this is the same flight where the police tracked down the hotel room the drone emerged from and had a good talking to with the owner, as mentioned in my previous blog post. There are the usual concerns: I remember the scene in the movie 1984 where a helicopter operated by the Thought Police looked in the window of Winston Smith’s apartment. And this makes it easy for a terrorist, whether domestic or foreign, to drop poison in a city’s water supply.

But see the beauty of this shot. Also, consider how this can revolutionize search and rescue. The common use of some drones will also make a dividing line between stories.

I watched a rerun of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which a couple of her friends were kidnapped. When she saw they were missing from the library, she thought they might be out looking for someone. I thought, “Why doesn’t she call them?” Then I realized the Buffy series was before cell phones were in common use.

This is an enormous divide in movies and TV shows: pre-cell phone and cell phone. (I know that smart phones also make a divide, but not as drastic.) The same is true for novels. And in the near future, novels will be viewed as pre-drone or drone. If some child is lost in a city or a wilderness, readers will puzzle over why no drone was sent out. To spy on someone who is sunbathing or unloading supplies from a ship, readers will wonder why a satellite had to be co-opted rather than just use a joystick and drone.

And for novels set in the future, 3-D printers will manufacture military drones for the battlefield or exploration drones to send out from spaceships that have landed on planets. Drones are the wave of the future, or perhaps I should say waves of drones are the future. 


Chrys Fey said...

It is funny to watch movies and shows that are out-of-date with technology. It's like a blast from the past, "Oh, so that's what it was like. Now I remember. How strange!" haha

Lexa Cain said...

Very interesting point. It's hard to imagine a time when there weren't cell phones even if I lived half my life in that non-mobile-using time. Great post!

Stephanie Faris said...

That is true--as I type this, I'm watching Melrose Place. Last night there was an episode where a woman was kidnapped on a boat. I kept thinking, "Okay, now she can just dial 911 on her cell." Honestly? I never did un-think that. I kept waiting for her to do it until I forgot about it. Now when a writer is creating a scene like that for tv/movies/books, he/she has to find a way to explain why the cell phone couldn't be used--mostly that there was no cell signal. In the future, the bad guys will use tech to scramble that signal (same with drones, probably--bad guys will learn to make all the drones go offline temporarily or even go bad and kill us all!).

Mark Murata said...

Right, Stephanie. I'm planning a future post based on real-life jamming of cell phones. Completely illegal, but that doesn't stop it from being a plot twist.


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