Who knows where it got started, but we love to watch other people buy houses on TV. Perhaps the most well known show is House Hunters, but there are many others. One favorite of mine is called Beachfront Bargain Hunt. The premise is the same as always, an individual or family is looking to buy a house. In this case the focus is on finding inexpensive homes on the coast, usually in the southern US. What really drew my interest in this show was their use of aerial shots. Shots that allow you to see the entire property from a bird’s eye perspective. Sometimes this is just 20 feet off the ground, other times more like 100 feet.  You can get a good feel for these shots in this video.

Without knowing too much about TV and cameras, the old way to get shots like this is very expensive. You need someone that can fly. Aerial shots usually require a helicopter set up something like this or this.  That’s just not worth the effort and you may not even get the shot you want with such a big machine.  If you’re lucky perhaps a cherry picker might get the job done.  But again, too much effort.  But this is the 21st century, and we need a 21st century solution.  Enter the drone.  Now one person with a device that costs just a few thousand bucks can get you the exact shot you need.  And this is exactly what Beachfront Bargain Hunt using companies like this one.  The types of shots they’re able to get are incredible.

2014 Aerial Demo Reel | UAV | AP | DRONE | from Drones Of Prey on Vimeo.

Imagine using a shot like that to help sell your house. Just awesome.

Now imagine someone using a drone to look at your kids playing in the backyard. Or look in your second floor window. Or watch a football game. Or a competing business spy on your operation.  Commercial drones can cost thousands of dollars.  But consumer versions are only in the hundreds.  And “toys” are in the double digits.  Some even come with cameras already attached.

Drones are creating a whole new world of potential violations of law and privacy that previously weren’t considered or policed.  Things we just didn’t have to think about.  Like, who owns the air 200 feet above your house?  New technology is almost always great, but laws and regulations are slow to keep up.

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categories: government, technology