Drones are one of the must-have gifts this Christmas. The expensive flying machines pushed at adults and kids alike are big business – but they shouldn’t be. They are stupid, and they need to be killed.
Killed for consumers that is. I get that drones aren’t pointless. They are excellent for filmmaking in fact, super useful for emergency services and I really like Amazon’s drone delivery plans – that’s all fine and dandy. Carry on, professionals.
Yet, with increased reports of idiots being idiots and flying these airborne annoyances too close to airplanes and into no-fly zones, proposals such as the UK government’s to impose strict safety rules and flight tests on drone owners can’t come soon enough.
This would quickly eradicate the 'idiot' user base, leaving drones to the professionals and sensible enthusiasts, and put an end to them being used to smuggle drugs into state penitentiaries and attempting to chase down flight ES789 to Faliraki.
It would also stop people wasting large sums of money on something they'll likely crash very soon into ownership.
Sure, drones are fun for the first few weeks – just ask my colleagues. I’ve harassed them on numerous occasions in the office with the smaller versions – but the novelty wears thin fast and ultimately you’ll crash and do some serious damage to the propellers.
These sub-$100/£100 drones aren’t the issue though – their range is limited, the flight time is less than 10 minutes before they require a charge and many aren’t equipped with a decent camera (if at all) or other techy equipment.
It’s the drones that set you back hundreds, have impressive range and HD cameras bolted to them – they’re excellent feats of engineering, but ultimately pointless for the average Joe.
A Christmas to forget...
Picture the scene this Christmas. There’s a large present under the tree with your name on – the excitement mounts, what has Santa delivered? You sure have been good this year.
You rip off the shoddy wrapping paper to find a shiny new drone. Goodness, you’re so excited.
Now this drone isn’t one of those cheap little ones, no it’s one of the serious ones you can’t fly in the house. You head to the garden, fire up the blades and take to the sky – until your neighbor threatens to call the police if you don’t 'stop f**king spying’ on them.
Undeterred you head to the local park – won’t be any issues there, right? Wrong, you arrive and immediately plough your overly expensive toy into a tree.
Half an hour of climbing, finding a stick big enough to poke it free and replacing a broken blade with a spare from the box (oh, that’s why you get spares) you’re back in the air.
But you’re far from an expert pilot (and why would you be, any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy these things) and when you smash your drone into an unsuspecting dog walker two minutes later the day comes to an abrupt end.
That was fun... And you’ve not even been a total idiot and tried to chase down that 747 flying overhead or nipped it over the walls of a prison – but we all know people have, and will continue to do so if regulation isn't introduced.
We should be able get on with our lives safe in the knowledge the odd one from number 10 isn’t hovering outside our bathroom window while we’re in the shower.
Drones are not a wonderful gift for all the family. Drones are not the answer to getting kids into the great outdoors. Drones are an over-hyped, expensive let down for the average person, so can we all just move on please? Thanks.
- Shut up John, I want a drone: how to buld your own drone
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John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.