Reshaping How Companies Do Business - Inside and Out

How Every Industry Can Benefit From a Digital Reconstruction Platform, a note from CTO, Nicholas Pilkington

Fri Oct 16 2020 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

DroneDeploy was born out of a simple, but practical use case: to prevent Rhino Poaching in our home country of South Africa. From this first use case, we learned that while drone hardware was rapidly becoming more proficient, complete solutions involving drones were, at best, remedial science experiments. Drones needed software to make them safe, reliable, repeatable, and, perhaps most importantly, operable by a non-drone expert. We believed that while hardware manufacturers would build great things, it would ultimately be the software that would make drones truly productive tools.

That was essentially the jumping-off point for DroneDeploy. Our goal was to make the sky, ground, and structure interiors productive and accessible to everyone. And we believed almost every industry could, in some way, benefit from the use of data visualization. 

When we started the company, we found a niche in building a tool to make maps. And while agriculture turned out to be the first industry to adopt drones en-masse, it wasn't the only one. True to our thinking that almost all industries could, in some way, benefit from drone data, other industries quickly followed, including construction, mining, and renewables. And as the adoption rates grew, we quickly had our customers asking for more. They wanted a single software solution to manage their whole drone fleet. 

To support this industrial transformation, we needed to expand the platform. So we did just that: 

  • We enabled all types of data capture and processing - including videos, panos, and inspection photos.
  • We built a fleet management capability to eliminate the manual processes pilots were required to perform.
  • We made the tools more collaborative and real-time with live video streaming. 
  • We integrated with the applications you use, including Esri, Procore, AutoDesk, and more 
  • And we baked all of it into a complete enterprise platform, able to manage entire commercial drone operations.

Photo credit: VentureBeat

As our customers continued to innovate, it was critical we were right there with you – constantly improving, constantly evolving. And so over the last two years, we transitioned DroneDeploy from a mapping tool to an all-in-one drone data platform.

As we move into a world driven by digital transformation, IoT, future-proofing, and automation, businesses recognize how invaluable this type of software is. Because of this, we understood our goal needed to be bigger than giving customers what they needed now; our goal needed to be anticipating what our customers need for the future. 

In-app view of 360 Walkthrough

The pandemic and economic crisis have only accelerated this vision, with drone technology already acting as the perfect socially distant worker. Companies across the globe have realized the amazing things they can do with drone data, all without having to put their workers in harm’s way. And numerous altered work arrangements across the globe have further intensified the need for safety across its operations. Future workforces depend on these digital transformation initiatives, and we are here to help drive that onto the field, in the office, and wherever your employees are.

DroneDeploy growth over the years

At DroneDeploy, we’re never satisfied with the status quo. And it seems like neither are our customers, as industry innovators like yourselves are continuing to push the boundaries of construction, energy, agriculture, and more. And one of the most exciting things we’ve seen is the fact that drone technology is becoming a standard tool for a variety of industries. We’ve seen a vast expansion not only amongst pilots but across enterprise operations as well. In the past year, we’ve seen a 20% increase in business users, a 140% increase in unique monthly analyst users, and, most impressively, a 201% increase in annual enterprise subscriptions. We’ve seen an expansion and adoption across industries like forestry, utilities, solar, and more. As I look at all of these industries we are helping, I’m proud our software uniquely positions our customers to get a complete perspective of their job site. In this perspective, they can track their site and assets with confidence, get accurate, objective site documentation, and improve their operations’ overall effectiveness.

Pin locations in 360 Walkthrough

As we transform the physical world into the digital, full operational insights are within reach – with millimeter precision.

We didn’t know if this bet would pay off when we made it, but as the use cases grow, and the market evolves, we’re thrilled that we’re making this technology accessible – while our customers make it indispensable. 

We’re extending DroneDeploy into the world of digital necessity, our software poised to serve our customers’ evolving needs. You’ll be able to unlock more in-depth insights into your operations and solve more business problems in innovative ways – all with the push of a button.

Performing inspections directly in the platform

But where DroneDeploy is truly setting itself apart is with our introduction of 360 Walkthrough. We’ve eliminated the guesswork by providing you with a holistic digital reconstruction of your site, integrating data from the ground, sky, exterior, and interior. 360 Walkthrough is the result of our investment in innovation and our commitment to you, our customers. Because it’s you, our customers, who are innovating on the front line, and we’re honored to innovate alongside you.

Digitally reconstruct your site with DroneDeploy

Together we’re forming a single solution to revolutionize how you capture and visualize data. And, as we keep our eye on the future, we’re eager to show how valuable that visual data is. From a single drone pilot on a single flight to a fully autonomous enterprise drone fleet – we’re proving we’re no longer just a drone data platform, but a complete digital reconstruction platform.

We understand the need to connect the job site to the office, to bring field insights to decision-makers with clarity, speed, and accuracy. Of course, this requires us to continue innovating in our core industries and remain focused on developing and expanding our platform to new types of reality capture and data visualization. As you continue to innovate alongside us, we couldn’t be more excited for the future.


Get drones working for your business.