Feature Friday: AirCraft By Dronebase

I hesitate to call this a feature, even though it is, as AirCraft is a way bigger deal than a new feature.

Our portfolio company Dronebase operates the largest drone pilot network in the world. Tens of thousands of pilots fly missions for Dronebase and the Dronebase mobile apps are used by most of these pilots to do these missions. Pilots connect their mobile phones to their drone consoles and the smartphone adds a lot of capability during the mission.

So what else can a smartphone do for a drone mission? Well it can add augmented reality.

AirCraft is the first augmented reality drone platform for commercial and recreational activities.

What AirCraft is, at the most fundamental level, is the ability for the drone to be a cursor in the sky.

AirCraft allows drone pilots to make something like this in the sky:

AirCraft is available in the Dronebase iPhone Pilot App today and will be available in the Dronebase Android app later this year.

If you want to build a virtual drone race course, you can do that with AirCraft.

If you want to build a flight plan for a drone pilot to do a regular survey of your radio tower, you can do that with AirCraft.

If you want to build a virtual city in the sky, you can do that with AirCraft.

The possibilities are endless, kind of like Minecraft in the sky.

So if you have a drone and the Dronebase iPhone app, you have AirCraft and you can get going on building things in the sky.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JamesHRH

    Neat. Not sure I see much application, but neat.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Stick a pin in it (not directed at you), Annotation, flight path, scale dimensions… Lots of applications

      1. JamesHRH

        I think the key word in my post is ‘I’.Can’t see how its different from Photoshop, tbh.

        1. JimHirshfield


          1. JamesHRH

            I know.It just looks like you take picture and cut in things.I’m really visual but not a visualizer…..I guess.

          2. JimHirshfield

            3D and ability to rotate around it.

    2. Nicholas Osgood

      The DroneBase Aircraft (beta) technology with the DJI SDK was designed for both creative and commercial use cases. There are a lot of applications across industry verticals. See this dronelife article that touches on a few potential commercial applications: https://dronelife.com/2017/

      1. JamesHRH

        Not trying to be a knob or a hater, just trying to see the applications. Of note, the first line of the article you linked is:” Despite the hype, finding concrete uses for Augmented and Virtual Reality has been a challenge for technology companies. “Pasted here to make me not feel old and out of touch, mostly 😉

    3. PhilipSugar

      Commercials. If I want to put a video on my website showing how cool my B&B is I would like to have my logo in throughout not just photoshoped over it. That is what I would pay for which is the whole point (btw: If the Dodgers see this there will be a cease and desist copyright infringement order coming Fred’s way)

  2. JimHirshfield

    “Minecraft in the sky”Bring on the drone zombies!

  3. William Mougayar

    Cool. I’m at the Steemfest conference in Lisbon and they have an official drone photographer throughout the event. Actually, the group photo was done by a drone. They had the attendees step outside in a large veranda and we waived at the sky as the drone flew over the crowd snapping videos and pics.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Tough day at the office, William?

      1. kenberger

        i know, right? Wm sees more of europe than i do… and i live here!!

      2. William Mougayar

        I stayed up til 1:30am to work my presentation!

    2. Montoya

      I went to a local firehouse pancake breakfast where they did a demonstration of what happens in a burning room with and without sprinklers, and there was a drone in the air filming the event. This was in a small town too. They are fast becoming very common; equal parts fun and useful.

      1. William Mougayar

        Wow. So many creative uses once you’re looking down at things.

  4. awaldstein

    Too cool.I sold paint-on-live video to high-end broadcast studios world wide for awhile (yes @wmoug:disqus Skydome was my account) and was considered a magician.But this!

  5. jason wright

    i don’t get it. what’s the ‘LA’ thing? what’s the utility? help for the wingless one please!”Aircraft” – i get that. neural burn-in step complete :)p.s. my Nano S landed today. dinky little thing. those plastic buttons are a bit ‘chatty’ though. i might get the Blue when it’s available. i can see the S would be good for immigration control checks – “it’s a memory stick”.

  6. Chimpwithcans

    If I had access to an aircraft drone I’d make it Draw out the roof extension for my house due to start building next year. Totally rad idea. Execution is key of course

  7. pointsnfigures

    “Meh, this is dumb technology. It’s just a game” Said the naysayers. : )

    1. JimHirshfield

      Take my money, pah-leeze

    2. PhilipSugar

      You know like many things really interesting things drones are such a confluence of different technologies….high capacity batteries, powerful brushless motors, cheap gyros, great digital cameras, flash storage, wireless digital communications, computing power.And….they are all so inexpensive!!!I was at homecoming this week (not going to tell you what class but it was not in this century)Think about the cost this would have been back then? Helicopter, gyro cam, skilled pilot, camera person and film. Just amazing.

  8. sigmaalgebra

    Cute. Sure, there are applications.But a significant business? Hmm ….Looks like nearly no barrier to entry. So, lots of competition. So, rates for drone work stand to be low. So, no big bucks.Eventually drone operators will need liability insurance, and the insurance companies may suck up a lot of the meager revenue.There will be super serious FAA rules, serious enough to keep drones from being a threat to airplanes, e.g., at flight altitudes and near airports. One of those drone puppies eaten by a big jet engine could be a serious problem, at least expensive for the engine repairs and maybe life threatening otherwise. So, the liability insurance will have to consider such risks.Some communities will pass anti-drone privacy laws, e.g., can’t take pictures of females in bikinis getting sun tans.If police flood the skies with drones all the time, then citizens will object that “Big brother is watching us”.Drones taking pictures: Sounds like another case of commercial photography which is an old field, including from airplanes and helicopters, for group shots, weddings, real estate sales, etc. still labor intensive and not making the big bucks.For VR/AR, in general, I can’t take that seriously. First I’d want to see some good examples. Later, with lots of good examples maybe see something general about VR/AR with value. VR/AR might catch on for games, but those are for people spending time and money without making money — not promising for the economy or people wanting to make the big bucks.Maybe a leading drone operator could accumulate a data base of images and video clips that could be a business advantage, barrier to entry, and network effect. Maybe that would be significant.Still, the drone picture, video clip data base business will be forced to be mostly a geographically local business. This means that whatever success there is in cities A and B, there can be serious competitors in cities C and D. So, right, do M&A and save on the computer server costs for the data base. Maybe eventually a good drone operator could get lower insurance rates and, thus, another barrier to entry. Maybe. I’m not seeing the big bucks or any strong barriers to entry.

    1. Ed Freyfogle

      Insurance is already a legal requirement in Europe for commercial drone operators. Here’s a start-up that does on-demand insurance priced based on the real time weather, location, etc: http://flockcover.com They are beta-testing now in the UK, more countries to follow. The underwriting is done by Allianz. It’s a hot space.

  9. Richard Carlow

    It looks like Pokemon Go. I am sure there are a few great use cases, but I am damned if I can figure them out beyond another advertising/ branding play.

  10. Douglas Crets

    If you happen to be by Virginia Tech on November 8, the FAA and some of the big names in drone operation, including Amazon, are going to be testing a new type of drone emergency measure, a simple parachute made out of probably the lightest material known to man, and the people who re-wrote the rule book about civilian overflight of drones are going to be there, which, if you ask me, means that the FAA is about to release the new rule book on being able to operate commercial and private drones anywhere in America. Look up Indemnis Systems.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I think there will be more regs. And that is not a bad thing or in any way dissing drones.

      1. Douglas Crets

        I believe that is precisely what I said. I know the group of people re-writing them.

  11. Thomas Luk

    Powerful…everything which enables creativity is powerful.

  12. Douglas Crets

    Here is the drone flight test, with the new parachute, which should enable flight over people https://www.facebook.com/am