Drones could replace GoPros as must-have travel tech

IFA GPC 2015: Action cam era predicted to spillover into ‘drone obsession’

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Travellers who’ve already made the jump from taking photos and video with a smartphone to using a GoPro will soon embrace drones as an essential travel item, according to speakers at the IFA Grand Press Conference 2015 in Malta. The massive tech exhibition IFA – due to go ahead from 6-9 September in Berlin – is always a trend-setter for travel tech, and 2015 is set to be no different. However, this year, expect the ‘flying menace’ as drones try to make the jump from a controversial novelty to travel essential.

Drones on the up

Speaking to a packed audience of tech journalist from over 50 countries, Jurgen Boyny from analyst firm GfK said: “Drones are on their way up – we’ll see them used by business and consumers. People own a smartphone, then the next step is to own an action cam, and the next step might be a drone to get some nice pictures.” Boyny suggested that regulations might be needed to curb their use in, say, neighbours’ gardens, but insisted that drones will be accompany us into the near-future. “It’s a technology that we’ll have to get used to,” he said. Earlier in the event ZTE had hinted at transparent smartphones.

Brands to watch

This is a tricky one. The action cam era has been built the success of just one brand, Go Pro, which no-one had ever heard of before. “It wasn’t the traditional camcorder brands that started this market, it was young people with a new idea, using the technology of camcorders combined with the behaviour of consumers going on YouTube and sharing their content, not just pictures but video,” said Boyny. “The next step is more and more active, high risk sports like skiing and mountain biking, all while wearing an action cam.” At IFA 2014 TravGear managed to get hands-on with some GoPro alternatives from Sony, Panasonic and Polaroid.

IFA 2015 will take place from 4-9 September 2015