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Distributors See Drone Demand Taking Off

NEW YORK — Discerning growing commercial and consumer demand for wireless drones, distributors including Stampede and Wynit are busy climbing aboard the still nascent category.

“Drones, or ‘cameras in the sky’ as we like to refer to them, represent nothing less than a $12 billion commercial sales opportunity,” observed Stampede president/COO Kevin Kelly.

To help steer its customers toward the category, the national video display distributor has crafted its entire 2014 Big Book of AV fall tour “to show dealers how they can profit from both the sale of drones and [by] using them as a way to generate incremental sales of traditional A/V and IT components.”

Kelly noted that drones represent “the most complete and cost-effective way for enterprises of all types to capture and deploy critically important content that then needs to be viewed, edited, distributed, and stored — and this reality is what is going to generate a huge increase in business for our dealers in 2015 and beyond.”

Stampede’s road show kicked off last month in Bloomington, Minn., and heads next to Dallas on Oct. 16; Raleigh, N.C., on Oct. 23; New Jersey on Nov. 6; and Toronto on Nov. 13.

For its part, Wynit, the North Syracuse, N.Y.-based distributor, has forged a new agreement with drone manufacturer 3D Robotics (3DR). Under the pact, Wynit will offer 3DRs’ product catalog to authorized resellers in the U.S.

3DR’s drones feature automated tablet-based mission planning, enabling consumers to fly with a controller or draw the path they want the drone to take. The company noted that its free and open-source software has been adopted by companies around the world, providing data analysis, mapping, surveying and 3D modeling.

Wynit business development specialist Geoff Norman noted that “3DR products like the Iris+ are ideal for capturing high-quality aerial imagery; right out of the box they are extremely easy to use. Our resellers are very excited about the advanced capabilities that 3DR’s technology provides, such as the 3PV Follow Me feature that enables people to be their own one-man aerial film crew.”