Data collection firm AdNear is trialling the use of drones for its data collection business. Traditionally, the firm had used bikes, cars, trains, and even walking up the stairs to collect data including Wi-Fi and cell tower signals. This wireless data helps AdNear’s location platform precisely locate devices without the need of GPS or operator assistance.
AdNear has started to trial the use of drones and reports it is impressed with the results thus far. It believes it is the first player in the ad-tech industry to test drones for collecting data, and the company says it is “very excited on how this could ease data collection”.
According to AdNear the three most crucial advantages of using drones over other mediums are: better altitude coverage, radius beyond roads and GPS controlled flight paths.
The use of drones for location data collection would reduce human intervention and ease the process of regularly updating signal strength across the region. Drones would also enable quick assimilation of a large scale of location data, which would mean faster market entry. On the system end, however, data analytics engines would need to be updated to convert unprecedented levels of data into actionable information.
AdNear plans to use drones in select geographies post successful completion of these tests to collect the wireless data that is crucial to its audience profiling data. Privacy and legal compliance remain of the highest importance and AdNear insist it only collects signals passively and do not record videos or photos. And there is no PII involved either.
For brands, this would mean more data points for accurate audiences, more location points for consumer insights and targeting, and maybe, bringing in the third dimension in locating the consumer.