Flyver is a drone startup currently located in Sofia, Bulgaria. Our company’s main focus is drone applications. We are creating an open-source SDK and marketplace in order to enable developers to create drone apps and monetize them. Our goal is to trigger a drone app revolution through a unified platform
Q. I have spent years as a software engineer and love the entire concept. What inspired you to go in this direction?
Coming from a technical background, we immediately saw the potential of drones and the problems they are currently facing. In terms of technical capabilities, drones are like nothing ever seen before. They can fly for decent periods of time, they are easy to control, their pricing is accessible and they can carry small to mid-size objects. There is only one problem, drones are currently unprogrammable, or ‘dumb’, akin to phones from the early 2000’s. You need a person behind every drone in order to fly it. We realized a product is needed in order to trigger the drone revolution and make these flying robots truly commercially useful. So we set out to make drones ‘smart’ by hooking them up to a smartphone and giving them the ability to be programmed and automated.
Q. You have 12 apps listed in your gallery as well as lots of challenges for additional apps. How many individuals or businesses do you have making use of your technology?
Flyver SDK has been an open source project for 4 months already. We have been growing active community in Github contributing to the project. Our newsletter has several thousand subscribers, mostly developers and DIY enthusiasts. Within our community we are currently working with individuals and teams to create business solutions for Agriculture, Security and Big Complex Object Inspection using the Flyver SDK. That’s all we can say for now, but big announcements are coming in the next month.
Q. If someone wanted to write apps on your platform, what languages are best suited to this task?
The SDK is Android-based, so Java would be the language of choice for working with it. We went ahead and made that choice seeing how android is such a popular platform nowadays and we want to make the Flyver SDK accessible to as many people as possible. We’ve also included a JSON API similar to JSON-RPC, which allows components to be attached and used regardless of the language being used.
Q. How do you see drones technology evolving over the next 5-10 years.
Flyver is an expression of our vision. We believe the future of drones lies in autonomous apps and widespread commercial applications. There is room for innovation involving drones in pretty much any industry you look at right now. We are working with partners on products in categories ranging from social media to agriculture.
In five to ten years we believe that programmability will be a basic requirement in every drone being manufactured. There will probably be several dominant drone app marketplaces competing for developer and user attention. Hopefully Flyver will be among them.
We also expect that legislation will experience big development in the next 3-4 years and adapt to current market trends, allowing industries and businesses to employ drones for commercial purposes with no fear of prosecution. Right now it’s a huge issue that’s hindering development in the whole industry and keeping investors from considering large-scale investments in drone startups. That’s why it’s vital that all enthusiasts and people involved in the drone business take a stand before inadequate legislation kills our entire industry.
The technology will also undergo huge developments in the next years, removing the physical limitations of the current generation of drones. We will have more durable UAVs flying for extended periods of time, at higher speeds and altitudes and being able to communicate over much larger distances.
Drones designed with a specific use in mind are a trend which we hope will be gone within the next years. Our vision is that in the future drones will be more modular, allowing all sorts of components and sensors to be attached and removed, allowing a single drone to perform various functions and enabling developers to make apps which are not limited to the hardware of the drone out of the box. Lots of money will be saved if a single drone can be repurposed with a little tinkering instead of using having to buy a new drone for every new application.
Q. What are you currently aiming for with Flyver and what is your end goal?
Right now we are focusing on developing our products and convincing developers and drone manufacturers of our vision. We hope to build a strong developer community based around the Flyver SDK. We are in talks with several large drone manufacturers and we are hoping that the SDK will soon be shipped with their UAVs out of the box. Our end goals are a unified drone development platform which works across devices and a marketplace abundant with both personal-use and commercial drone apps.