By @SimonCocking. Interview with Philip McNamara, Managing Director, Voxpro – San Francisco. Founder of Drones Data X Conference.

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What is your background?

I grew up in Ireland and have lived in a few different countries around the world of settled in the US for the past seven years.

How did you become interested in drones?

A friend of mine had an early version of the phantom drone and we took it out to our local beach and played around with it. From the minute I thought I was intrigued about the potential for drones in the future.

Drone X in Mayo – for those that don’t know tell us a little about why you started it, and the topics it covered? (Why did you chose Mayo?)

The drones data X conference was built around Mayo because all of my love of Kitesurf Inc. and the Wild Atlantic way! Achill island has one of the best places in Europe for Kitesurfing and also is the location
of the Pure Magic Lodge.

The topics that we covered at the last conference were around the future of transport, delivery, and how drones could help companies figure out where things were going for drones and the future of business.

You then ran the US event too, how did that go?

It was great, we had over 700 people attend and companies like Amazon, Google and GoPro attend and participate.

Will there be more events in Mayo and US?

Yes, we’re planning more events for 2016. One in San Francisco, on 3rd June 2016  and then back to Mayo in early November.

The future for drones, in Ireland, the US and globally, what are you excited about?

Drones for delivery is going to be a huge industry. Drones will be used for everything from urgent
letters to small packages. Companies like Amazon are already experimenting with the technology.

What future trends do you think people should be looking out for in relation to drones?

Drones can carry packages today. They’ll carry people in the future. It’s about 15 years away.
This might seem crazy but there are already 4 or 5 companies working on this, including Google.

Drones + A.I how soon do you think this will become reliable?

I think it’s more likely that drones will use machine learning to learn about the world around them. Drones are able to “see” the world around them, avoid obstacles, and figure out where they are. This will be matched up with drone highways in the sky, just like we have roads with rules, there will be rules for the sky.


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