New drone technology promises to change the world of surveillance; for better or worse is yet to be determined. In his new book “Eyes in The Sky” Holland Michael details the history of drone technology and looks at the implications of its advancements. Drones have had many uses over the past few years, and their rapid advances in technology has allowed them to expand their uses both publicly and privately.
The biggest advance in drone technology is a drone known as Gorgon Stare. Gorgon Stare uses the budding technology of wide-angle motion imagery, WAMI for short. WAMI is a game changer for surveillance and brings the abilities of surveillance to a whole new level.
The WAMI enabled drone allows an incredible 1,854,296,064-pixel images. This allows it to spot an object six inches wide from up to 25,000 feet in the air. That’s some absolutely incredible precision. It also allows the drone to track individuals over 50sq KM with the same level of precision. This amount of detail is astonishing and is leaps and bounds above anything that has come before. It’s a mixed bag of feelings to think about the implications of these technological advances.
The next step is then to integrate with facial and picture recognition. Technology already exists for both of these, so it would be the next logical step to bring it to use with the incredible views that drones give us. A giant image of a city might be too much for the human eye to process, but a computer can easily sort through millions of pixels with ease.
While this sounds like futuristic technology, it’s very real and in use today. The technology has already been tested in multiple American cities. And it almost goes without saying that the adoption of this technology has some interesting consequences.
Having this type of technology is both exciting and scary at the same time. On the one hand, it could provide new ways to catch criminals and help make our communities safer. If a drone is able to record an entire city, the job of catching lawbreakers would be much easier for law enforcement.
On the other hand, it opens the door to lots of civil rights questions. Most minds will go to the government and the ability to spy on its citizens, and there’s a range of other sinister uses.
Another big concern surrounding these types of drones is the lack of legislation surrounding them. There is currently very little legislation surrounding drones, and that makes it troublesome and ripe for abuse. Without legislation, it becomes free reign for anyone who wants to use it, and it’s difficult to go after them for invasions of privacy. It’s time to start thinking about legislation to encourage the proper use of the technology and protect the privacy of citizens.
The use of surveillance drones is both exciting and scary and is nearing reality quicker than most think. With the power these drones have, it’s important to start thinking about the proper way to use them. It’s also important to make sure laws get on the books to protect people’s rights and prevent both government and private misuse.
“With great power comes great responsibility”, and that couldn’t be truer than when talking about surveillance drones.