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CES 2018: The Rise of Drones


On the final day of CES in Las Vegas, IEEE Spectrum senior editor Stephen Cass interviewed Joe Lillie [PDF], a telecom consultant with BIZPHYX, about the dangers of automation and Lillie’s dream of “using fewer devices to do more things.”

Lillie also shared his observations from attending CES over the years, such as watching drones graduate from a novelty to a tool.

“Five years ago, drones were sort of a standalone device. Almost a toy,” he said. “But there was anticipation there would be applications. Fast forward a couple of years and all of a sudden, we see drones synchronized—six, seven together, dancing to the music.”

Lillie figures, in a few more years, drones will be widely used to deliver everyday items to people’s homes within a few hours of when they place an online order.

He also acknowledged concerns about drone-based weapons, and whether such devices would be susceptible to hackers. “What we always need to be aware of as developers is the potential misuse of a technology,” he said. “Every technology can be misused. Can that misuse be designed out of the technology? That’s the challenge for young engineers.”

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