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. 
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