Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.
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44 unmanned systems inside August/September ugust/Septe August/September August/September be August/September 2016 0 2016 6 2016 AIR SOFTWARE Photos courtesy of Sky-Watch, Danoffice and what3words I f drones offer the possibility of reaching the world's less accessible corners then what3words makes mapping, inspecting and delivering to those corners easier by giv- ing them a user-friendly address. Comprising a preset global grid of 3-meter- square sections and an app that gives users each section's simple-to-use moniker, what3words technology enables anyone with a cell phone to easily determine and share their address or the address of a meeting spot—even if that spot is somewhere on the beach or in the middle of a field. The app does not require street names or landmarks to guide users to a location—making it simple for drone-based service providers to find an offshore oilrig due for inspection or map a disaster zone where every familiar feature has been erased. "what3words is an innovative way for people and operators to specify where in the world they need to send the drone," said John Perry, the founder and CEO of Altavian, a drone manu- facturer that is partnering with what3words. "So it specifies the location using three distinct by Dee Ann Divis words, which can be used in both English and other local languages. It's very useful for being able to, for example, send a drone to a particular waypoint without having to use the digits of lat- itude and longitude, which are prone to error." The advantages of being able to give a loca- tion in three easily understood words rather than a string of numbers is clear to anyone who has had to painstakingly repeat a phone num- ber over a bad connection. "Essentially it's a global location refer- ence system," said Clare Jones, who manages what3words' global partnerships. "The idea is to take all the power of latitude and longitude coordinates—which are of course unique, but complex and prone to error—and make them human friendly." Having his people get lost is what inspired Chris Sheldrick, what3words' cofounder and CEO, to look for a new approach to giving out addresses. Sheldrick was running a global music busi- ness, Jones said, and often struggled to get his musicians, roadies and equipment to the per- A new, easy- to-use global addressing system could be a boon to drone-based services including inspection, mapping and delivery. easier.drone.operations Global address algorithm simplifies mapping, delivery, inspection, emergency services