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Drone brands to show real world value and prove they are not just flights on fantasy

This incredible drone footage gives you a birds-eye view of our stunning city and iconic Liver building.

Our 800-year-old city shines in warm sunlight as the drone from Liverpool company Icarus UAV takes you up to a unique view of the Liver Birds that has never been seen before.

Mike Ahmed from Icarus UAV said: "We shot the footage on a nice calm summers evening when the light was just perfect. But it wasn’t until we reviewed it back at the office the next morning that we realised we had captured something really special.

"It was so beautiful with the backdrop of the city at that time of evening and from a perspective that had never been done before.

Drones have seemingly gone from being a cool, innovative novelty to the precursor to a dystopian future; the challenge for the industry then is to work out how unmanned vehicles (UAV) fit into peoples’ lives so that if someone were to hear one above they wouldn't think the worst, reports John McCarthy and Seb Joseph.

Better video quality, longer flight times and lower price tags might be coming to the tech over the next 12 months but to call 2016 the year drones will take off is premature. Regulation aside, the industry is still young and as such hasn’t convinced the masses of their worth, an issue UAV experts from GoPro, Southern Company, Matternet and Uplift Aeronautics partially blamed on the media while at the same time acknowledging that they needed to play the PR game a lot better.

“It’s about working out how great press can translate to people’s everyday lives so that if I’m in my neighbourhood and I hear a buzzing above does it mean that someone is checking on me,” said Paola Santana co-founder and head of network operations at drone delivery startup Matternet at CES.

“It’s why before we fly [goods on behalf of our customers] we make sure that their community knows what we’re doing.”

Her business aims to let people use drones to transport goods using an app that does all the piloting and most of the mission planning itself. All the user has to do is tell the drone where to go and then the drone works out the best route that will fly around sensitive areas like schools and no fly zones. However, the engineering, political and corporate costs involved with running a business like this - let alone the marketing spend - are heavy, which was why fellow drone fliers Uplift Aeronautics was forced to dismantle itself at the turn of the year. The business was launched to pull humans from the sky and still deliver humanitarian aid in conflict places like Syria, where the unmanned vehicles fly small packets of medicine, food and other supplies to people.

Consequently, it’s going to take considerable investment from the industry to educate people of the benefits of drones, whether it’s smarter delivery options, better pictures or humanitarian aid. And that’s before companies work out how to make it more accessible so that people can buy a drone and immediately start flying it without the need to read through pages of an instruction manual.

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