Throughout the globe, innovative technology as delivered an abundance of benefits, from on-demand deliveries to the tailored online shopping experience, to at-home medical care. These breakthroughs have enabled unparalleled convenience and efficiency in how we conduct business operations and go about our day-to-day lives. However, technology’s impact can extend much further, improving the quality of life for populations in underdeveloped regions in need of disaster relief, security and humanitarian assistance, economic development, and infrastructure construction. Case in point: AR-equipped drones.

Drones equipped with augmented reality technology can play a vital role in promoting public safety, safeguarding resources, enhancing urban and rural planning, and boosting food supplies. Here’s a look at just a few of the most promising use cases for AR-equipped drones.

AR-equipped drones and critical missions

With an AR-equipped UAV feeding footage back to central command stations, officials can gain full situational awareness for critical missions. In situations where visibility is reduced, or it’s otherwise difficult to obtain a comprehensive contextual perspective – as in many underdeveloped areas – AR-equipped drones can see what the naked human eye alone cannot.

When rebuilding communities or deliver urgent assistance in the wake of a natural or humanmade disaster, it’s essential to know where gas, power, electrical, water, and internet lines are located. Here, AR overlays can generate precisely this information, in addition to a wide range of additional vital data, like the locations of civilians and first response personnel, unfolding emergencies, and more. For communities facing ongoing dangers, AR-equipped drones can be deployed for continuous monitoring, providing public safety officials with the visibility they need to understand and respond to threats.

Such capabilities help explain why we can expect a growing share of first responders to deploy AR-based solutions shortly. Access to accurate real-time data is paramount in search-and-rescue missions and disaster recovery and will significantly boost the effectiveness of such tasks in underserved areas.

AR drones
Image: Edgybees

Economic development with AR-equipped drones

AR-equipped drones won’t just be indispensable in disaster zones; they’ll also create new opportunity zones in developing regions.

Similar to how Google Earth helped identify natural resources in countries like Mozambique, AR-equipped drone tech can generate unmatched topographical mapping and help pinpoint new opportunities for resource exploration and extraction.

In the agriculture sector alone – which employs between 50 to 90 percent of the population in developing countries – AR-equipped drones promise to bring remarkable precision and efficiency. By monitoring crop growth patterns and critical areas of need, drones can help farmers optimise resource allocation and management, boost yields, and avoid waste.

AR-equipped drones’ benefits also extend to infrastructure, and the transportation sector stands to reap significant gains from their use in this domain. Surveilling traffic and road patterns and feeding the data back to operating centres, drones will play a key role in improving traffic management and boosting road safety – meaning less money spent on insurance and the attendant costs of road accidents. As for the roads and bridges themselves, drones can capture images from difficult-to-reach areas where humans might not otherwise have easy access, enabling officials to attend to structures in need of repair.

Construction and AR drones

For the construction workers who carry out these repairs and build other structures, drones will allow for a better understanding of their surroundings and thereby prevent accidents from occurring. This, in turn, will mean exceptional efficiency during the construction process and accuracy of infrastructure architecture.

Meanwhile, the growing deployment of drones outfitted with AR software will create new job opportunities in AR and drone-focused positions. The establishment of similar training programs will inculcate the professional skillsets needed among populations in developing regions, connecting them to tech jobs that serve their communities.

With their wide range of capabilities, AR-equipped drones not only serve underdeveloped regions in times of need but also enable those areas to thrive economically and socially. By solving a plethora of day-to-day inefficiencies, this technology can eventually empower community members to enjoy new economic opportunities, give back to their communities, and perpetuate the innovation development cycle.


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Adam Kaplan

CEO and Co-Founder, Edgybees

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