In the next decade, consumers and corporations are predicted to spend nearly $100 billion on aerial drones, with just 12 percent for commercial purposes. But it’s the recreational consumer drone market catering to outdoor enthusiasts that interest us the most here at LiveOutdoors.
Today’s drones utilize GoPro cameras along with smart phones and tablets to bring Point-of-View displays to the operator, which allow them to fly higher and further than line-of-sight vision permits. In some cases, drones operated by media organizations or consumers looking for a newsworthy video have nearly collided with commercial aircraft. They have become so popular, in fact, the Federal Aviation Administration is currently looking at some type of regulations.
The bottom line is these drones are a ton of fun. Chances are you’ll be exposed to one soon enough if you haven’t already. With two new intriguing models on the market and one trusted favorite, we give you our top three choices for consumer aerial drones.
We start with the phantom, one of the most widely consumer professional grade consumer drone. These drones work phenomenally well but only has a flight time of 10 to 15 minutes. Used in many cases instead of costly helicopters, the phantom offers complete control in the air with a failsafe setting for automatic takeoffs and landings.
The lily, which came on the scene earlier this year, has been creating quite a buzz on social media. The joy of the lily is its ease of use as there is no remote control. Instead, the user puts a tracking device in his or her pocket and you just throw the device into the air and goes. The lilly does the rest. Pre-programmed to perform aerial maneuvers that track the user with various patterns, the lily offers an ingenious way to film yourself mountain biking, skiing down a mountain or even boating without any hassle at all. And it comes with a reported battery life of four hours.
The most recent offering on the drone market that’s been making waves is called the solo. A combination of the lily and the phantom, the solo offers more control than the lily but with similar fully autonomous flying modes including orbiting the subject, following from behind, a selfie scenic pull-out shot or a virtual cable. The solo, which hit the market in 2,000 retail stores this spring, is by far the most intriguing drone on the market today. The solo also offers interactive features that teach you how to fly.