One of the biggest arguments against advanced technology is that certain things of it threaten privacy.
When you consider the fact that people used to live their lives relatively undetected, it’s hard to argue against that case given location services, IP tracking, and even spy drones. However, this futuristic technology isn’t just a means to make you feel uncomfortable, it has important applications.
From Government Technology to Modern Fad
Technically speaking, the advent of drones could be linked to the very first flying vehicles, as without the technology of airplanes and helicopters, drones wouldn’t exist. More realistically, widespread drone use began around 2006. At that point, the military had been using drones for fighting wildfires, surveying damage, and of course, surveying people.
As drones became popular among civilians, uses ranged from pesticide application and equipment inspection, but far and away the most common use is as a means of capturing some sort of images. Some people use drones as a hobby, some companies use them to take professional quality photos with an aerial vantage point, and some use them for surveillance.
There are some important distinctions to make when discussing spy drones: the first is that they are not inherently bad. Not ever spy drone is manned by an individual with nefarious intentions watching your family. For example, a spy drone can be used as a security measure on private property, a way to locate potentially dangerous people via their license plates, and a means by which countries can gather counter-intelligence.
Smaller Than Ever
To talk about spy drones today is different than in previous years, as the U.S. Army awarded a nearly $40 million contract to an Oregon-based company that produces incredibly tiny aerial unmanned vehicles.
These nano-drones are intended for ground combat units, allowing them to surveil enemies and potential threats. Aside from being very small (only about 6.6 inches long, and tipping the scales at just 33 grams), this new wave of spy drones also packs a logistical punch.
Despite their size, these drones (which look a great deal like tiny helicopters) can travel at more than 13 miles per hour for 25 minutes on a single charge, and they have a range of nearly 1.25 miles.
Changing The Face of Diplomacy
As it becomes safer and more economical for countries to use drones to spy on each other, there will invariably be tension surrounding the subject. In fact, in June of 2019, Iran shot down a U.S. military spy drone when it entered their territory, speaking to already unstable relations between the two countries.
Stories like these are bound to become more and more common, because although spy drones are small enough that they’re not especially intrusive, they’re certainly still visible, and they’re a clear indication that another country is performing information gathering operations, which doesn’t sit well with most governments.
For now, spy drones are likely to affect average citizens very little. You may feel a little uneasy when you spot a drone nearby, but society certainly hasn’t reached the “big brother is watching” level that dystopian pop culture has warned about. Instead, spy drones are a budding military tool that may save lives in the process of performing their functions.