Jack Brown is real estate consultancy Hollis’ first unmanned aerial vehicle operator.
What tasks do you think are going to be part of your job in the future?
Technology is always changing, so I expect my job to evolve alongside the technology. Looking forward, I see my daily tasks involving creating videos for various clients, creating virtual tours, flying over large areas of land capturing topographical surveys and carrying out detailed roof inspections.
How do you see your role developing?
For the drone team at Hollis, the future lies in using technology to solve real problems. Drone technology has the potential to make surveying exponentially safer. Using cherry pickers to survey roofs has always been a dangerous and expensive route, but until recently, it’s been the only option. By replacing surveyors on cherry pickers with drones, we’re able to give a better picture of the roofs we survey to our clients, and don’t need to put a surveyor in harm’s way. I expect a lot of my role in the future will be focused on coming up with solutions like these, that solve a problem and help the industry.
We’re currently working on new and innovative ways of capturing, modifying and manipulating data, and I see this aspect of my work becoming a very large part of my role. We are now implementing 3D tours and topographical surveys, so we’re well on our way to creating technology that will allow us to initially survey a site without ever having to leave the building. In the future, I hope to manage a team of pilots gathering data that we can use to keep delivering the best services possible.
What are your ideas for change?
I’m always thinking about new ways to improve what we do with technology. Personally, I think that virtual reality will be the next big thing to hit surveying. There is so much scope for development, and with the increasing camera quality and ability to capture data, it seems like a natural next step. It’s amazing to think that one day it could be possible to give a client virtual reality goggles and take them comprehensive site tours without ever having to leave the building.
In addition to VR, I see a lot of scope for artificial intelligence, combining robotics with drones and creating a product that can do more than just take pictures. You then have a machine that will aid construction of roof repairs – considerably saving on costs, hazards and man hours. The thought alone is industry-changing.