It’s been another big year for DroneDeploy.  Another $25 million funding round and a steady stream of new product announcements has kept them in the headlines.  With over 30,000 users of its drone data mapping platform, and the largest app marketplace in the business, DroneDeploy is a major player in the drone industry.  As the company’s co-founder, Jono Millin has a front row seat on industry movement – and he shared his insights on where the industry is going at InterDrone last week.

DroneDeploy is active in many verticals: but core businesses include agriculture, construction, inspection, and search and rescue.  Millin says that business analysis in these verticals has changed.  Previously, he points out, aerial data was used in a “fly, process, and analyze” order – with the data coming first from satellites, then planes, and finally drones – inexpensive, high resolution, and a high frequency.  Decision making came later – after the aerial data had been received and duly analyzed.

Now, says Millin, the order is being compressed.  Applications and businesses are moving towards the ability to make decisions in a real-time environment.   Technology has assisted with the change: faster processing in the cloud, AI and machine learning, and edge processing.  “Edge processing” is the idea that you can move some processing closer to the data source, getting critical information sooner.  DroneDeploy’s LiveMap – which provides real-time results on a mobile device, without an Internet connection – is an example.

DroneDeploy’s recently released MapEngine is another product designed to bring the decision-making ability into real time.  MapEngine uses AI and machine learning to interpret scenes, so it makes processing decisions that deliver the most accurate results in the shortest amount of time.

A phrase repeated often at this years InterDrone was this: “It’s not about the drone, it’s about the data.”  DroneDeploy has always focused on the data, and now they are focused on delivering it to stakeholders faster than ever.  In the coming year, “real-time” may become the phrase most often heard in new drone apps.

CEO,, and CMO of Principle at Spalding Barker Strategies. Proud father of two. Enjoys karate, Sherlock Holmes, and interesting things.

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