If you followed any of the news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), you were undoubtedly aware of the increased impact of automotive companies and of the excessive gadgets (after all, if you can’t spot cool gadgets at CES, where else can you go?).

But we were particularly intrigued with one consistent measure of attention throughout the show:


While drones may seem oh-so-last-year, the fact is they’ve become commercially viable fairly quickly and have caught on with a significant group of consumers. The top trends that you see every year from CES may be fleeting in some cases, but in others, you’re able to see some persistence. And while you may not see too many of the more fanciful products in the wild, odds are you’ve seen your share of wearables, hoverboards, or the like.

But 2016 will undoubtedly go on record as the year of the drone.

Between simple app integration with smartphones and more reasonably priced versions (some at less than $50 on Amazon), drones are easier to use and more affordable than ever before. The numbers are impressive: since the Federal Aviation Administration put its rules into effect that all drone owners must register their drones after December 21, 2015, they’ve seen some 300,000+ drones registered in the US.

That’s 10,000 drones registrations per day.

Year of the Drone

If you look at the chart above from first day of CES (above) you can see that Zignal Labs tracked conversations and that of all topics, drones were leading the pack for most of the day. Given the other announcements and the volume of chatter produced by the show, this bodes well for drones.

The short-term focus of event monitoring has the potential to lead to some false-positives when it comes to trend identification. This is where data, combined with experience, can lead to insights. Giving access to your monitoring and reporting system to a wider group of your team can lead to valuable information to help you plan not only for the rest of the show, but for the year ahead.


This is a guest post from Scott Monty, former Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager at Ford Motor Company and current Principal and Owner at Scott Monty Strategies, LLC. Scott also is a big – very BIG– Sherlock Holmes fan (super-fan?). He runs a website and co-hosts a podcast called I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. According to his Twitter bio, Scott is a “strategic communications consultant, advisor and keynote speaker.” He’s also a husband, dad, … and, in his own words, “a generally nice guy.” We agree.