AirWorks 2018 has come and gone - and what a year it was. This year in Dallas we saw some of the strongest validations of the power of drones in the enterprise space. New drones were announced, partnerships were forged, and the enterprise drone community bonded and became stronger than ever. Here’s some of the highlights from this incredible conference.
DJI Gets Serious With The Mavic 2 Enterprise
“We’re here to grow the global ecosystem together. It’s about diversity and it’s about community.”
- Jan Gasparic, DJI Director of Strategic Parnerships
At the DJI keynote on day 1, Jan Gasparic unveiled the widely anticipated Mavic 2 Enterprise and its three modular attachments that will be available at launch: a loudspeaker, spotlight, and beacon. While the initial attachments are clearly aimed at the civil services industry, what really raised eyebrows were the new software and applications to tackle fleet management and data security.
These features hint at a future roadmap that is clearly aimed at addressing the needs of massive enterprise companies. Coupled with the public announcement of the Phantom 4 RTK just days earlier, it’s clear that DJI is ready to throw its weight into the realm beyond consumer and individual commercial pilots markets.
Strengthening the Community
In the partner keynote presentation, Skycatch CEO Christian Sanz acknowledged that while the drone space is getting increasingly competitive, it is the rate of adoption that is the industry’s biggest threat. It is up to the industry to continue to work together to educate and collaborate to drive value for our customers.
“The biggest competitor isn’t each other - it’s the speed of adoption. It’s important to remember that collaboration is what got us here.”
-Christian Sanz, Skycatch Founder & CEO
Christian also addressed the way the industry needs to turbocharge adoption is by removing GCP workflows, adopt “time to data” as the new KPI for measuring success, and removing piecemeal solutions.
“Adoption speed will only increase by improving the reliability and consistency of drone data, adapting new workflows focused on the needs of the customers, and focusing on the ROI - that’s what our customers care about. If we remove piecemeal solutions and focus on workflows, adoption starts increasing and customer success becomes guaranteed.”
-Christian Sanz, Skycatch Founder & CEO
Christian closed out the keynote by doubling down on the theme of “Empowering the Ecosystem” by announcing that the Skycatch Edge1, the market-first GNSS base station and and drone data processing unit, is now compatible with all DJI drones. Previously only available as with the High Precision Package, the Edge1 delivers centimeter accurate data in any local coordinate system within 30 minutes and is open to partners to start developing on the new platform - and is now manufactured by DJI.
Demystifying RTK and The Future of UAV Trends
Day 2 of AirWorks 2018 was full of exciting and informative sessions for all attendees. In the morning, Skycatch Director of Enterprise Solutions WillIam Pryor broke down the basics of RTK and shared how RTK-based solutions on job sites are superior to GCP workflows. In summation, the outcomes of RTK solutions are always accurate data, whenever you want, increasing efficiency by 200-300% while also improving worksite safety.
“GCP workflows enable all. RTK enables all... with 80% reduced time in the field, with quantitative, super-high accuracy.”
William Pryor, Skycatch Director of Enterprise Solutions
Later that afternoon, Skycatch VP of Product Tony Poon took the stage for the Commercial UAV Trends Panel with other thought leaders from Microsoft, PwC, Skylogic Research, and DroneBase. Edge computing, instant data, and ROI became the main topics of discussion.
“Real time data is not just the future, it’s simply practical. As more enterprises adopt drone data workflows, instant insights, especially in construction and mining, are going to be the standard”
“With Komatsu, it didn’t start as drone as a solution, it was the data that they got from it that mattered. That’s what germinates what we deliver to the market. Being very focused on ROI to us is the only way we can drive adoption.”
- Tony Poon, Skycatch VP of Product
We got to meet up with many existing customers at our booth, like Gary Chapman from Turner Construction, who used the Skycatch High Precision Package to save $28,000 in survey costs with one 17 minute flight:
The Future of Job Site ROI
On the final day of AirWorks, the sessions continued, and our Director of Product Patrick Stuart teamed up with DPR Construction to discuss the real-life applications of drone data on the construction site. The name of the game was ROI: how you can reduce the amount of time it takes to get answers, how to improve safety, and get massive return on investment by utilizing drones.
Thats a wrap on AirWorks 2018! Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, signed up for priority access to the Edge1, and participated in this amazing event by coming together to drive the drone industry forward. See you next year!