Every year, the Gartner IT consultancy releases its famous "hype curve", which shows where it thinks various emerging technologies are in the usual cycle of swings between overheated expectations, backlashes and ultimate practical application. They think that drones have a lot more hype ahead before the inevitable expectation backlash begins...

(via Ponoko)

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Comment by MarcS on August 21, 2012 at 11:05am

Depending on the field you are looking at smallUAS could be placed at the beginning at the "slope of enlightenment" in my point of view. For years it was told that sUAS will soon monitor traffic, pipelines etc... and of course cheap and for everybody (remembering some years ago). Now we see that there are some applications, esp. 3D mapping that can be done productive.

For other classes/applications the placement could be different, of course...

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 21, 2012 at 11:13am

Interesting.  And they predict 5-10 more years before the peak?  Man, I can't even imagine what we'll have by that point!  What will expectations be?  There are already pretty high expectations, I can't imagine what they'll be in another 5 years!

Comment by Dany Thivierge on August 21, 2012 at 12:18pm

 This is good!    Maybe in 3-5 years I can make this my real full time job then!  hehe

Comment by Sam Kelly on August 21, 2012 at 1:17pm

Where would the Elevation Dock be on that graph?

Comment by Oliver on August 21, 2012 at 1:17pm

Well I'm not sure how accurate this is....3D printing on the peak of expectations...Really!...well I would of thought they are 10 years out of date at least.....In my opinion 3D printing is surely on the slope of enlightenment.....Now if they had said "additive manufacturing of production airframes" then I would probably agree. Lets hope their prediction for UAV's is more accurate....




Comment by Jake Bayless on August 21, 2012 at 1:25pm

It all hinges on what the FAA decides to do with non-government/institutional UAS regulations.

Comment by MarcS on August 21, 2012 at 3:04pm

@ Jake: I disagree... We have regulations you could call "ahead" here in germany basicaly allowing LOS <5kg operations comercially. Anyway there is no real "market explosion" or so. It´s just that applications giving you a job (and probably feeding your family) are quite limited. There are many great ideas but in the end it comes down to the cost per sqaure meter or per photo taken. And then many illusion fall apart...

Comment by Jack Crossfire on August 21, 2012 at 5:38pm

According to monster.com, it's still social network cloud service phone apps written in ruby on rails.

Comment by Randy on August 21, 2012 at 8:09pm

It definitely is climbing the hype curve..I would have thought we were closer to the peak than that actually.

What tipped me off recently was seeing an interview where someone claimed they could do 3 years worth of surveying in 10~15minutes with a drone.  They were coming doing surveying by walking about and taking readings vs using a foamie flying wing so i can imaging using a drone is more efficient but the whole 3years -> 10minutes thing was a bit much.

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on August 22, 2012 at 12:19am

Olivier: I disagree about 3D printers. They very much deserve to be at the top of the "hype curve" in my opinion. If you look at mass media it is littered with articles where 3D printing is used as an obvious plug to get media attention. And in most such cases, more traditional manufacturing (cnc, plast molding etc) would have been just as cheap, and structurally much stronger. In my opinion, one of the few places 3D printing makes sense at the moment, is having a printer in house for very rapid prototyping to check mechanical design parts fit and such.


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