Here at Bungalow, we like to keep an eye out for the industries that are poised to capture a big chunk of consumer and business spending in the future and there’s not much that gets us more excited than the drone industry. The FAA estimates that almost 10,000 commercial drones will ply the skies within a few years and there will undoubtedly be countless more personal drones in use. Why is this industry blowing up now and what should we make of it?

It seems hard to separate the growth in drones from the growth in light, durable and high quality cameras. If there is any company that has done more to popularize drones than GoPro, we don’t know know what it is. Just as one of the most interesting things to come from space exploration was our ability to look back at Earth, it seems that drones finally became interesting when they gave us yet another vantage point from which to watch ourselves. And if you don’t believe me that that viewpoint is fun or interesting, just check out this video filmed by a drone flying through the fireworks in New York City: Drone Awesomeness.

But are these things actually useful? We definitely think so. And being in the insurance space, our minds naturally turn to how our industry might make use of drones in the future. One of the biggest costs in the insurance industry is related to having boots on the ground when underwriting risk or investigating claims. But what if instead of sending someone out to view a house, we sent a drone instead? That drone could provide real time images and analysis of exactly what the underwriter needs to see, all from the comfort of the office.

The drones are coming… and maybe that’s a good thing.