Tell us something about your current position and your professional background
I’m CEO and Founder of Skylogic Research, also known as Drone Analyst®. We are a research, content, and advisory services firm supporting the commercial drone industry. I am 25-year technology industry veteran with a background in manufacturing, electronics, digital imaging, field service, software, research, and mobility.
My prior experience includes marketing, manufacturing, and operations management at Olympus Corporation, Oracle / PeopleSoft, Steelwedge Software, and SAP. I’ve been a photographer and have built remote control aircraft since high school. I combined my passion for photography and aeronautics in 1992 by practicing aerial photography from manned aircraft. As photography turned away from film, I mastered digital imaging, photogrammetry, 3D imaging, and timeline editing. Today, as a hobbyist, I do aerial photography and video with multi-rotor helicopters. I hold an MBA from Florida Atlantic University and I’m also a member of the major UAS industry groups including AUVSI, RCAPA, and AMA.
“Adoption rates by large enterprises will climb as regulatory environments stabilize and adapt to the innovation that is occurring.” – Colin Snow
What are your perspectives on the UAS market?
While Skylogic Research is enthusiastic and excited by the tremendous attention focused on the small unmanned aerial system (UAS) market, we are pragmatists first and foremost. As of early 2017, we think the #1 misconception in the drone industry is how fast it will grow, which sectors will grow, and which ones will lag. We believe adoption rates by large enterprises will climb as regulatory environments stabilize and adapt to the innovation that is occurring. We also believe competition in small UAS platforms will continue to expand, and new leaders in drone-based business services will emerge as markets mature and solidify. Beyond line of sight (BLOS) and autonomous capabilities will open new economic opportunities across the board. However, it is our opinion that using UAS technology must be tied to measurable benefits for service providers and end-users if the industry is to grow.
What are the biggest challenges in UAV industry?
I believe the biggest challenge for the commercial drone industry is leadership. Many industry experts say it’s regulation, but I say leadership. That’s because I think the industry really holds its future in its own hands. The public’s fear of invasion of privacy and harm by these devices is powerful. So, collectively as an industry, we need to counter that with good examples of us performing safe, respectful, and meaningful work. I also believe the global manufacturers and service providers need to continue to partner with regulators — like we do here in the U.S. with the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee. With the technology advancing so rapidly, I believe it’s our duty to keep regulators up to speed on those changes and hold them accountable for missteps that could hamper economic benefit.