AZUZ: In this academic year alone, we’ve talked about the use of drones, unmanned vehicles, in warfare, in capturing video of extreme sports, as ocean platforms for returning rockets, and in sports, as racing aircraft. As drones become more accessible and more widely used, it seems their potential is limited only by our ideas.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNNMONEY: In the world of tech innovation, China, many would argue, is a follower. But there's one field where it is undeniably a leader — drones.
We've come to the home of the world's biggest commercial drone developer, DJI, to find out what's the next big thing in an industry where literally the sky is the limit.
(voice-over): Their futuristic flagship store in Shenzhen is a monument to just how far and just how fast drones are developing. In December 2012, the company launched its Phantom 1 drone without a camera.
Just three and a half years and three months later, the Phantom 4 drone can produce this. High definition video live stream unto your smartphone or tablet from a distance of up to five kilometers.
The real breakthrough is now on what the technology will be used for.
MICHAEL PERRY, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP, DJI: One of the most exciting ones for us recently was we saw a team of whale researchers used our systems to fly over whale pods and collect their snot so that they can do advanced analytics to determine their health.
STEVENS: Those researchers, the Ocean Alliance, called it the "snot bot", a drone that gathers mucus from a blowing whale. And that's just one out of the box application. DJI has developed a model that can accurate spray crops in difficult to reach areas. It's also talking to Europe's biggest emergency response, about how to use drones in search and rescue, firefighting and surveillance.
The options, say Perry, are limitless.
PERRY: We put the technology out there and what's been really exciting is the creativity and innovation that people bring to their platforms. There are million different use cases.
STEVENS: For DJI, their challenge is to continue making drones easier to use, so that the next generation can be captured all over again by the wonder of flight.
Andrew Stevens, CNN, Shenzhen, China.