Concept: Security drones patrolling cities in the near future

Credit: Alex Cornell

Drones are a hot topic of discussion. From use as weapon combat vehicles to possibly even delivering your Amazon packages in a few years, drones (regardless of their size and power) have the potential to fundamentally change the way society operates, for better or worse.

Although the use of commercial drones is still awaiting regulation from the Federal Aviation Administration, it's not difficult to imagine a world filled with different types of drones tasked with new roles. In "One Drone Future," designer Alex Cornell explores what semi-autonomous drones would look like if we allowed them to be used for security surveillance in large cities such as San Francisco.

Created using a DJI Phantom Drone, Go Pro camera and tons of special effects, "One Drone Future" shows drones flying around San Francisco on their own, seeking out distress. The security drones can detect vehicles and track them, as well as spot pedestrians from up in the sky. Cornell's interpretation suggests that human officers would be able to remotely monitor and view all of the video and data from the drone, and suggest alternate mission plans as necessary. As for the creepy computerized voice, Cornell days it's "designed to mitigate discomfort with sentient drone technology."

Optimistic as the video starts out, the situation takes a turn for the worse towards the end. In "One Drone Future," Cornell makes sure to paint the downsides to using security drones too, mainly drone order disobedience and their susceptibility to being shot down by criminals.

The entire idea of security drones that could be used by law enforcement is a double-edged sword. On one side will be the optimists who see the benefits of security drones used for scouting and reporting emergencies, accidents and crime in neighborhoods that have less police presence. But on the other side, you will have citizens who feel security drones will be too invasive and become just another form of Big Brother watching us.

We're not sure how drones will play out in the near future, but one thing is for sure: they will need a serious fail-safe before they're ever approved for semi-autonomous flight.

YouTube, via Laughing Squid

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