Your drone will give you perfect pictures, every time, for pennies per dollar. It is perfectly safe with few regulatory barriers. This will increase the expected return on investment from your mine. This will improve your security history. He will also cook breakfast and find a date for Saturday night!
Hype. The explosion of commercial drone services may be slowing down imaging costs and opening up new use cases every day, but it has also flooded the market with hyperbolic demands.
John Rankin, a longtime photogrammetry professional, came to LinkedIn a few weeks ago with a manifesto, arguing that the drone industry would be damaged in the long run by making value claims that the product can not deliver. “It seems like every two months someone buys a DJI Phantom and is starting a UAV company in our service region that offers survey or mapping services,” Rankin wrote. “I am constantly advocating the services and costs of my company against pop-ups that potential customers perceive as our competition. I realize these pop-ups as nothing more than a nuisance boggling the industry and confusing potential customers with quality photogrammetric data. Owning a drone does not make anyone a land surveyor or photogrammetrist and does not give the ability to produce research-level products. “
Strong words supported by technical arguments about the accuracy and utility of software-generated research data, Rankin’s manifesto suggests that DJI and other dominant drone makers-along with photogrammatical software developers-are exaggerating the capabilities of their products to unsuspecting entrepreneurs , simply to achieve growth regardless of cost. Small businesses then aggressively pursue search deals at reduced prices, promising results that they can not really deliver.
“Software companies that make false claims and pop-ups that offer bad products are destroying the reputation and validity of the drone industry before actually taking off,” Rankin wrote.
Rankin’s speech raises a fundamental question that deserves to be answered. Are customers – like mining companies – disenchanting?
The consulting firm Gartner Group has developed a rubric to measure the adoption of technology called “hype cycle”. It starts with prototypes making the news, then the first to adopt new innovations, raising the peak of inflated expectations before striking hard on the “voucher.” Disappointment. “Virtual and augmented reality is on this path now. Gartner is arguing that blockchain technology is there too, and stand-alone cars are starting to get into it.
Gartner believes the hype for drones peaked last year, and that the valley is upon us. The coupon creates a change in the industry with weaker players failing. Surviving providers only attract investments if they can improve their products to the satisfaction of the first adopters.
The industry seems to be adding more companies than losing. DroneII analysts noted that about 70 companies listed on their 2016 industry map disappeared, but 360 new entries were added. And yet, GoPro is getting out of the drones business and can be sold to a Chinese camera company. The general domain of DJI seems to be stimulating consolidation among manufacturers, even as software companies proliferate.
Rankin argues that software companies took the drone surveys to the valley of disillusionment. But the anxiety of IDPs resonates with their comments.
But here is the reality check, sometimes the introduction of a less functional and less useful product that is cheap and inexpensive can effectively displace a premium product because it is good enough for the required purposes. Suddenly, difficult skills delivering a lucrative professional career – skills that can take a decade to master, such as his – become “handcrafted”. So the question is: what is happening with the photographic research work?
The mechanical loom turned the weavers into indigents for a generation, even as they shouted about the superior artistic quality of the hand-made fabric and the carpets they produced. Traditional encyclopedias had examined experts, writing authoritative descriptions of events, objects, and ideas. None exist yet – Wikipedia is cheap and works for 80% of the reasons why an encyclopedia would be consulted.
Disruptive innovation is the bottom feed. He looks for ways to create new markets by lowering prices. For what lucrative uses can a drone be placed if a drone can produce a photographic survey – a bad one by today’s professional standards – at one-fifth, or one-tenth or one-hundredth of the cost? What are these use cases? Do they apply to modern mining?
Can mining companies be happy with a product that gives 75% of quality at 5% of the cost? Is this what is really happening?
If software companies are actually talking hastily to gain as much market share as possible before consolidation reaches the industry, companies will need expert advice to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is a place for tabletop experts as drones slide through the cycle of hype. That’s where we enter, contact us today info@skymineUAV.com
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