Why is everybody suddenly talking about drones? Where did they suddenly spring [vertically upwards] from and what will they do to our social fabric? Will they have an adverse effect with those that we live amongst and is there a way to prevent any negative results?

It wasn’t that long ago when we peered over the proverbial garden fence and envied the neighbour’s car, house or well-watered collection of fuchsia, but all of that has changed.

Technology is moving fast…..


……and so are the gadgets.

A brief journey in the recent history of time gives a view of technology that now seems borderline comical and inferior. A look back at the flying device next door would now be more likely to bring out raptures of laughter instead of reddened eyes of envy. They looked like a bit of fun but nothing that would inspire you to work harder or learn more. Neither would the remote-controlled cars that struggled to climb the smallest of kerbs, or the games consoles that played games with only a few pixels in fifty shades of grey-ness.

This was before the age of gadget minimalism.  The new era of squashing advanced technology into small gadgets is turning the focus of envy upside-down. Size still matters, but now smaller is better, so long as that smallness is accompanied by advanced functionality, multiple gears, rapid acceleration and elegance all fused into a high-tech utopia.

Should we be scared?

Maybe, at least a little. In the good old days, when the neighbour had to take out a mortgage to buy the latest gadget, the regular state of envy wasn’t healthy for the mind but it never endangered the physicality of those that lived within its proximity.



Now the flying tech is capable of being fitted with all sorts of functionality that could provoke paranoia in the most stable of individuals.  Ignoring the commercial or military use with its varying intentions, what happens when your neighbour’s gadget invades your personal space with a flying camera or a hovering piece of lightweight metal spying on most of your bodily senses?

Only with strong legislation will we have any control on what can be carried by drones and the ways in which they operate, but history has shown us that the arms race can never be stopped. However hard we try to legislate, it is impossible to prevent technology taking us to the next level.  When your neighbours buy a drone fitted with spy-vision or cat-repelling-missiles, will this result in anti-drone technology fitted with jamming devices or blocking functionality?

What does the future hold?

drones3It won’t stop with drones, but instead technology will continue to provide society with smaller and smaller devices capable of doing more complex actions, whilst providing more and more functionality.

A cursory glance at a typical smartphone shows how multiple items of equipment once carried out by enough devices to fill a room, now slips easily into the tightest of pockets.


If drones give a clue as to what the future of technology holds, simply make a comparison with the way they move and those of flying insects.  The human race is getting better and better at imitating animals. The tiny, intricate movements of the smallest of creatures can now almost be replaced with intelligent devices that are as small as the insect that it imitates, and with a controlling device that isn’t much bigger than its brain.

drones4Next time you take a look in a random patch of grass or amongst the flowers on a summer’s day, an enlightened perspective will give evidence of the incredible achievements of the smallest of creatures. These give an insight into the next steps in technology and of how civilization will get better at imitating them.

The advent of drones may mean that we are no longer looking at the simple, unhealthy envy of one’s neighbour, but instead a full-blown arms race complete with blocking devices and movement-triggered laser shields.

There is a way to prevent this and that is to remain friendly and sociable with your neighbours. Maybe pop around for a cup of tea every now and then, or if that fails, let them have a go at flying your drone too.

Mette Keller is in charge of brand, identity and marketing at UKDK, and can be reached at kellerm@ukdk.net