As drones gain more popularity than ever before they are being bought by enthusiasts across the globe who wish to use it in more innovative and unique ways than others. So while drones have delivered medicines to remote areas, shot wedding videos and been used for government surveillance activities among the many other things it can do, they have also found a new niche.
Drone racing is a fairly new activity. It is said to have originated somewhere in Australia in late 2014 as an amateur sport. First person view drone racing (FPV drone racing) is a motorsport where participants control their drones to complete a set route as quickly as possible. The drones are equipped with cameras enabling the participants controlling them to view a live stream from the camera. FPV racing organizations have regulations and rules to offer a fair race among its pilots.
The FAA has said it expects the commercial drone market to increase from 1.9 million in unit sales last year to 4.3 million by 2020. The skyrocketing sales not only indicates a boost of interest in drones but also the possibility that the drone market now has customers of various kinds who intend to use their UAVs for various purposes.
To an untrained eye, drone racing doesn’t look like the fast paced and high octane race it is. The technology behind it can be difficult to understand for those without a minimum education in it. Drones that participate in races are often made with racing in perspective and its looks are quite often are not given importance as features takes precedence.
FPV means that the viewer of the race can view the race through the camera of the drone rather than only see the drone racing from a third person point of view. This is made possible through futuristic sounding goggles that provide the wearer the first person view by streaming the camera feed.
The drone racing circuit, just like the drone industry, itself has seen many other people interested in it including experts, engineers and even sponsors for events. The first person view of the races also makes them a broadcasters dream.
There are already deals and further talks in place about broadcasting drone races. Last year ESPN signed a deal with the International Drone Racing Association to broadcast drone races. Like any other sport broadcasting it is bound to bring in fans, more enthusiasts and an active industry surrounding it.