Since the launch of Facebook Live , we have seen a boom in the live video trend in the industry. Live streaming during events is, by far, the best way to reach viewers both at the event as well as those remotely located in real time. It has become the new way to document and promote events by providing up to the minute updates to audiences.
While user generated video streaming is a growing trend, event documentation is being taken to the next level (literally!) by drone technology. Drones with high-definition 4K video cameras and GPS stabilized drone platforms enable high quality videos to be screened on multiple monitors across the venue. Not only do attendees experience a whole new perspective of the event they are at, remote audiences are treated a to a bird’s-eye view as well, creating an immersive experience for everyone.
Drones are a continuously evolving and multifaceted technology that is becoming an important component of the event industry. Drones have come to be useful in more ways than one by providing powerful ways of connecting people, securing venues, providing useful analytics as well as improving the overall event experience.
1. Alternative Uses of Drones: Connecting People
The lack of wifi or reception is the bane of every millennial’s existence. At crowded outdoor events staying connected can be almost impossible. In cases when existing cell towers get overcrowded with users, drones can actually act as additional cell sites. Drones packed with technology usually found in cellular towers can be sent to hover up to 400 ft above the crowd, ensuring continuous signal and access to existing networks over a wider reach, thus curbing attendees’ frustrations.
This relatively new technology is still being tested out by the likes of Facebook and AT&T, not just to connect people at events, but to also provide internet connection in rural regions as well as to deliver emergency wifi services during times of natural disasters.
2. Alternative Uses of Drones: Security
To many event planners, safety is a much bigger concern compared to providing wifi. In order to monitor large-scale events, cameras that accurately detect possible security violations or signs of disturbances in crowded areas can be fitted into drones. This way, drones will be able to catch unrest before they become full blown problems. The continuous aerial monitoring during events will also help in the efficient delegation of security personnel should an accident or security breach occur.
Eventually, as technology improves, drones might even be equipped with systems that are able to scan entire arenas for weapons. This kind of technological sophistication is bound to revolutionize event security procedures in the near future.
3. Alternative Uses of Drones: Analytics
Not only are drones helpful when it comes to crowd safety at events, they are also helpful in collecting advanced crowd analytics. Drones fitted with sensors are able to perform quick and accurate area mapping, analyse footfall, crowd distribution, duration of stays and revisit patterns at events, therefore proving to be an incredibly cost effective and portable solution for gathering real-time event analytics that will aid in planning. The LBASense Mobile App is an example of an application that is used in conjunction with sensors attached to drones to perform such analytics.
4. Alternative Uses of Drones: Enhanced Event Experiences
One of our favourite uses of a drone was when Spotify teamed up with Belgian telecommunications company BASE to release their very own “Party Drone” decked out with 3 speakers and an amp at a music festival to entertain unsuspecting ravers.
When people registered for the festival online, they were asked to add their favourite song to a spotify playlist. When they turned up at the festival to collect their tickets, the drone was able to detect which song was added by them and blasted their favourite tunes while hovering right above their heads as they entered the venue. This of course resulted in very excited albeit slightly shocked revelers. Check out the video below to see the Party Drone in action!
Another exciting way to utilise drones at events is by combining drone technology with virtual reality to create the ultimate immersive experience for all. Drone makers DJI have introduced new goggles that when connected to their drones gives users unparalleled aerial views without their feet ever having to leave the ground.
Now for the coolest bit; DJI Goggles’ head tracking flight mode allows users to fly and control the camera gimbal simply by turning their heads!
This feature provides endless enhanced entertainment options like drone controlled obstacle courses, treasure hunts, city tours etc. Soon people might even get the chance to experience live events in first person perspectives from the comfort of their own homes. Watch this video for more details on the DJI goggles.