Sights & Sounds: Recapping DroneDeploy Conference 2019

October 26, 2019

Between October 16th and 17th, we were thrilled to welcome hundreds of our customers, partners, and industry experts to San Francisco for our 4th annual DroneDeploy Conference 2019. It was an exciting week filled with cutting-edge announcements, new collaborations, and fascinating discussions about the future of drones and drone software.

But, if you happened to blink, you may have missed some of the 25+ panel discussions or keynotes from 44 external speakers across 7 industries. So we pulled together a recap of some of the best conversations for those who couldn’t make it in-person or attend all the sessions. Here were some of the most salient themes and news that came out of DDC19.

You can also watch the video of the keynote below or download the full founders' presentation here.

We’re now in what they are calling the fourth industrial revolution. Through drone data, for the first time ever, you can go back in time and measure anything… you can go back and answer questions that you didn’t know you had at that time.

- Jono Millin, Co-Founder & CCO, DroneDeploy

Mike Winn, Co-Founder & CEO, DroneDeploy

The Next Iteration: The Slope of Enlightenment and the Search for ROI

“Innovation is not a straight line. Ideas are easy, but execution is everything,” Mike Winn, CEO and Co-Founder of DroneDeploy, said in the first talk of the conference. DroneDeploy co-founders Jono Millin and Mike Winn referenced the Gartner Hype Cycle in their opening keynote. This cycle illustrates the many highs, lows, and stages that new technology goes through on the road to user adoption and the value to their business.  

Jono Millin, Co-Founder & CCO, DroneDeploy

For those in the industry, we’ve seen the headlines about funding drying up for drone startups and how many have gone out of business. But that also means that, as the industry evolves and Drone Industry 2.0 emerges, those businesses that survive and thrive will do so because they deliver valuable data and bottom-line results only made possible through drones and drone software.

This was a central theme throughout the conference: while the novelty for drones is over, we’re just now scratching the surface of delivering true business value through drone software.

The FAA is expecting 1 million registered commercials by 2021. Every year drone technology is creating more and more ROI for companies.

- Mike Winn, CEO & Co-Founder, DroneDeploy

From construction to mining to oil & gas and more, we regularly heard the ways that DroneDeploy is empowering customers to optimize efficiency, mitigate risk, and build better, more collaborative relationships with their customers. It all adds up to unprecedented ROI for businesses of all sizes.

A packed house at Bespoke in San Francisco

The 2019 DroneDeploy user conference kicked off in San Francisco this morning, and the growth of the show is an indication of how much DroneDeploy – and the industry – has grown. [...] From forestry and mining that support building, to the agriculture that feeds the people, drones are now part of those complex and critical operations.

- Miriam McNabb, Editor-in-Chief, DroneLife

A Rising Tide Lifts All Drones

We were excited to announce several new collaborations at DDC19, including a partnership with Airbus and another one with drone hardware company, Skydio.

Airbus + DroneDeploy Partnership

Our partnership with Airbus brings its low altitude authorization and notification capability (LAANC) technology to the public. This would help make airspace as accessible and safe for everyone as an increasing number of drones take off. This is especially important as 1 million drones are expected to be registered with the FAA by 2021. Because of the influx, it’s imperative to have an effective and safe way to coordinate the high number of UAVs.

“Air Traffic Control is a 30-year old system,” said Joe Polastre, Airbus’ Head of UTM Products. “It’s clear that a voice-driven system isn’t going to work for drones at the volume that we expect.”

Meanwhile, DroneDeploy unlocked even more hardware options for its customers through its new partnership with Skydio. Skydio debuted its “Skydio 2 Dock” at DDC19, in which the self-driving drone in a box can fly missions autonomously.

Skydio + DroneDeploy Partnership

“For industrial and commercial entities, [Skydio] wants to remove humans from the equation entirely, letting them rely on its obstacle-dodging, self-flying technology for automated mapping and surveillance [...] missions that will likely be flown through Skydio partner DroneDeploy to start,” The Verge noted in an article detailing the launch.

It was an amazing week at #DDC19. We hope to see you in 2020!

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