There is no doubt that drones are one of the fastest growing tech markets across the globe with annual sales expected to triple by the time we reach 2021 – so we are asking who is driving this trend and are drones designed for the big kids (of which I wholeheartedly class myself in that category) or the smaller kids in our lives.
Tech trends are historically driven by those in the 14-25 age bracket and whilst less tech-obsessed onlookers might have a negative impression of an army of sofa slouching teenagers glaring in to mobile devices for hours on end – there are some technologies that promote exercise and provide really positive experiences (drones being one) – but it seems the trend might be bucked when it comes to drones being well adopted by young people.
A recent study by dronesdirect.co.uk has revealed that only 7% of drone owners are in the 18-24 age category, the lowest next to the 24-34 age bracket that has 16% ownership. The dominant age group is 55’s and over with them seeing 27% of ownership – so it begs the question of whether younger people are interested in this type of technology – or is it perhaps less accessible for them due to costs?
As a Dad of two young children, my opportunities to give my kids free reign in the skies is limited – it isn’t really possible for me to let a 3-year-old loose with even a mini-drone and although my 7 year old looks up in awe, she too has only been able to master some simple controls under very close supervision.
The early introduction of drones to my kids may seem a little premature, but I can already see the potential benefits (other than fun which should never be underestimated) in giving kids the opportunity to fly drones.
No matter your age, there is a certain feeling that accompanies your first few flights with a drone and it kind of sticks with you – it is a mixture of nervous excitement with a sense of scale and responsibility. Giving children the opportunity to fly a drone gives them the opportunity to exercise responsibility and a care towards the safety and privacy of others.
Aside from the moral benefits, there are obvious physical benefits too. Hiking is a popular hobby among drone owners with over 42% of all UK drone owners partaking in the pastime. It is very difficult to get the most out of a drone when flying it indoors, so getting those grumpy teenagers off the sofa and out the house can surely only be a good thing.
Drones such as the Ryze/DJI Tello (which is predominantly aimed at young people) not only offer decent photography and videography opportunities but they also provide the chance to apply basic coding – affording young people access to learning skills that they may become passionate about or transfer in to their lives in the future.
Whether kids love drones quite as much as adults is perhaps for them to decide – and of course, you have to adhere to your local laws around drone usage with children (most are sold as 14+) but there is plenty to be said for spending an afternoon or three with your kids, having walked up a rather large hill (maybe even a mountain heaven forbid) and taking the drone out for a spin – even if you have to convince them to go by promising they will get the best ever selfie for their Snapchat story.