Swanky Apartments - Why It’s Time for Architects to Start Building Drone Balconies

Florida's luxury real estate market is known for its excesses and world firsts.  Just look at something like the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach with its sky-reaching garages for each residence, or the $31M beach front mansion of Highland Beach for inspiration.  But there is a new trend coming: Drones!

According to Lisa Ellman, a drone policymaker working with President Obama’s administration, there will be more than 20 million drones (unmanned) in the U.S. by 2020. That’s in four years time, not a decade. Already, industry leaders have taken steps to make drones an affordable, convenient and useful accessory for the average American. Amazon, the world’s number one e-commerce marketplace, is testing drone deliveries. If all goes well – and it has so far – unmanned aerial vehicles will be landing on your lawn to deliver that latest iPhone that ordered online.


Ever-increasing use for drones

It’s booming business for makers of drones meant to deliver packages, conduct routine crop dusting on agricultural fields, monitor endangered wildlife, inspect oil and gas pipelines, and take aerial photography. The current reality is that most states and municipalities in the U.S have banned the use of these aerial robots due to real privacy and safety concerns. But more open regulation is going to take center stage in due time, and this resistance to progress will eventually melt.

Personal Aerial Vehicles

There’s every indication that early adopters will purchase personal flying vehicles in the near future. Already, some models have been proposed, and others are undergoing development even as we speak. A good example is the Ehang 184 Personal Flying Vehicle, a super-sized drone that can carry human cargo. It’s roughly the size of a very small car and can ferry only one human at a time. A working prototype was shown at the CES 2016. And although it’s airborne for only 23 minutes (10 miles travel) at a time, it’s a good place to start!

Is it time for drone towers on Florida new construction yet?

All this progress raises the question, isn’t it time progressive architects and future-minded real estate stakeholders started building apartments with drone-landing balconies? A building equipped with a drone-ready condo tower in Dubai, Tokyo or any other bustling global metropolis might sell much faster. Of course, large balconies contribute to the appeal of swanky condos, but they could be much more useful if they if they obliterated the need to use the elevator down to the car park, or walk to the subway to get to the office.

The future drone balcony would be big enough to accommodate shipping drones and small electric aircraft. And as the industry gathers momentum, you might not even need to purchase your own drone. You could order a drone-ride with an air-travel taxi app, and jump in right from your abode. Definitely, this would call for thorough safety standards due to the increased air traffic around buildings and other residential areas, but that can be worked through.  


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