Drones. They’re EVERYWHERE. At CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, you can head over to the drone area of South Hall in Tech East and be awash in the whir of electric quadrocopters. These things have 4K cameras with incredible zoom lenses and can be found in varieties from whisper quiet, all the way to crazy loud.
They’re awesome, but at least one company understands that the runaway, or rather flyaway, technology of the past few years presents some potential security risks.
And they’re doing something about it.
The MyDefence Wingman 101 is a tech-filled brick full designed to identify the radio frequencies that off-the-shelf drones use to communicate with their operators. When it detects those radio signals, it sounds the alarm so that users know that drones are in the vicinity.
It warns users with vibrations, but it also has a minijack, so you can connect it to any audio out that supports the standard – that means nearly any bluetooth speaker on Amazon, or even headphones if that’s your thing. It’ll make an alarm.
The general device has sensors that sweep in a cone shape in a 60-degree arc out to about 2,000 meters. The omni directional antenna attachment can be mounted on a vehicle or home to give the user sensor functionality in all directions for about 2,000 meters. Riddick explains that all of these range numbers are landscape dependent. You’ll get more range in the flat terrain of central Kansas than you will, in, say, the mountainous high country of Colorado.
MyDefence isn’t content to simply warn their users about suspicious drone activity. Riddick told us that the next iteration would allow for some defensive measures as well. Not only are they interested in exploring how the next Wingman could interrupt the signal between the drone and its operator, they’re also looking into some other, as yet undisclosed “mitigation” of drone activity near the wingman.
Of course, all of these techniques are possible, but watch out because sending a jamming signal could run anyone afoul of the federal government, which regulates the skies, and the FCC, which regulates radio waves. To that end, MyDefence is focused on selling those systems to specialized clients like law enforcement and corrections officials.
We’ll be checking back with MyDefence to see how they plan on deploying that new technology. As soon as we get the word, we’ll share it.
Check out our video from this year’s CES here below for all of the details.