The lights were dimmed for effect. A spotlight focused on Jarod as he strode onto the stage. The investors in the audience clapped politely. Rajiv stood at the back of the room, flexing his fingers.
“Drones are shaping the world today. From being a military machine, they have gone to commercial delivery and cinema. Now, for the first time, we at Star Blue Avionics are presenting you an opportunity to use these drones to shape your own lives. Hay hi to little Snappy.”
Jarod pulled out a palm sized quad-copter from his jacket pocket. And flung it into the air. The copter’s rotors started and it hovered in place above him.
“Snappy is a little fellow, but make no mistake, he makes all his big droning cousins look like dinosaurs. At Star Blue, we are working to give Snappy the brightest mind of any pilot around. Snappy responds to gestures.”
He curled his finger in a come here motion. The copter followed him as strode across the stage.
“Snappy can fly and avoid obstacles.” He pointed to the end of the room and the copter zipped zipped there avoiding avoiding the low overhanging beams that supported the stage lights. The investors’ eyes followed it across. Rajiv let out the breath he had been holding.
“But don’t think of Snappy as a little toy, think of him s your eye in the sky.” The screen behind Jarod lit with images being streamed from the quad-coptor’s camera.
“Or maybe you can think of him as your little helper”. Jarod pointed to a grocery bag at the end of the stage and motioned to his feet. The little copter obediently moved to the bag, snapped it up with a dangling hook and brought it over.
“Not only is Snappy smart, Snappy is fast.” Jarod threw a plastic ball at the copter. The copter ducked abruptly, a middle aged investor sitting behind it didn’t and the ball bounced off his balding top. The crowd chuckled.
Rajiv nodded his head and Jarod motioned the copter to come back and settle on his palm. “Snappy is not just the future of your selfies, Snappy is the future of your family’s safety.” A video came up on the screen behind showing the quadcopter hovering over children waiting for a school bus.
“The future of your security.” Another video of a hooded man breaking into and driving off in a car. A sitting quadcopter took off in pursuit.
“The future of your comfort.” The video showed a frustrated commuter stuck in a traffic jam releasing the drone. The drone sees the congestion up ahead, looks around and does through all the nearby alleys to find a shortcut, sending the route to the car’s GPS.
“The future of your family.” Video of a family on a boating vacation, while a quadcopter hovered around snapping them at amazing angles from the sea.
The lights brightened and Jarod was smiling. “Any questions?”
At the Peabody bar downtown, Jarod and Rajiv joined the technical director of their startup. Jarod was exultant “We nailed it Sam, I told you we would.”
Samantha Powers asked “Nobody suspected Rajiv was controlling the drone from his pocket.”
Jarod grinned, “Nope, they bought it hook, line and sinker.”
“And the thermocol stuffed grocery bag, that also worked?”
“Yup. You should have seen the room go aah.”
Samantha was still frowning “Aren’t you worried about what will happen once they get their hands on it and realize it doesn’t work as advertised.”
Rajiv replied, “We said it won’t be ready for production for another six months. We’ll have it working by then.”
Samantha was unimpressed “Maybe we should have waited till it did before showing it in a demo.”
Jarod piped in, “and let Norton Drones steal our thunder? Now they have to top this to get anywhere near this much money. Pity we didn’t make it do loop-de-loop, I thought that would have impressed them even more.”
“There were only 15 seconds left before the battery died. We couldn’t drag the demo any longer or it would drop on their heads.”
Jarod checked his watch. “Hey, aren’t the Giants playing today? Can someone change channels?”
The TV over the bar was showing the news. The anchor read out, “authorities released a list of banks showing how much they paid in fines for the 2008 financial crisis. At the top of the list is Bank of America with 56 billion dollars in fees, followed by JP Morgan which has paid 28 billion.”
“Greedy bastards” said Jarod, “they should be thrown in jail.”