Using IoT sensor data to detect drone threats | Virtual Reality

The Internet of Things () didn’t just create houses and enable predictive analytics for industrial applications. It’s also creating a wide variety of new business opportunities and spawning new and challenges. Sometimes, all those things happen at once.

At least, that’s my takeaway from a new partnership between AT&T and Dedrone, a detection technology startup based in San Francisco. (De-, get it?)

Using IoT sensor to detect drone threats

According an AT&T spokesperson, “AT&T and Dedrone are teaming up to deploy IoT sensor technology to protect against malicious drones. Powered exclusively by AT&T, and using sensor data like radio frequency, visual, and radar, Dedrone detects and classifies approaching drones, pinpointing their locations and triggering alarms to alert security.”

What exactly constitutes a “malicious” drone isn’t entirely clear, but it could range from teenagers using a small drone to peek over a fence to the kinds of military drones that are being used as weapons in several areas around the world. And, in fact, the companies cite “military bases, venues, cities, enterprises, correctional facilities, and more” as potential customers. Further, DroneTracker, Dedrone’s “airspace security platform” is designed to detects a wide variety drones, the company notes, “including commercial, consumer and military-grade, as well as autonomous drones.”


Watch Dedrone’s explainer here:

Safer, or nah?

Until I heard about this deal, I didn’t know that drone detection was an actual business. Sure, there are a lot of drones out there, and people can often use any new tool in stupid, dangerous, and hostile ways.

But is the threat really that great for most business and industrial applications (as opposed, to government, military, or correctional facilities)? I’m still not sure that knowing that AT&T and Dedrone — along with many others, I’m sure — are on the case makes me feel safer or even more vulnerable.

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That’s not my main conclusion, here, though. The real takeaway is that a transformative technology such as IoT is rapidly disrupting and creating — not to mention lifestyles and many other things — in powerful, but difficult to predict ways.

Watch the AT&T/Dedrone video below:

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