I've been wondering why news agencies aren't sending unmanned drones with cameras and microphones into areas too dangerous for ground reporters, just to give an idea of what's going on. Prices have been dropping, while capabilities continue to increase.
One Polish activist used such a device, RoboKopter, to film police at recent riots in Warsaw that I have to admit I had heard nothing about (HT: Kottke)
Kottke has the fascinating observation that the different camera views in Madden NFL video games inspired the NFL to devise actual ways of delivering those kinds of views, since their audience was growing the expect them. He anticipates the same happening for news footage, as cinema quality and news quality merge.
The quality of the RoboKopter video is fantastic. For a long time, movies have used grainy, washed-out, blueish imagery to signify the "authenticity" of surveillance camera footage, and vomitcam jerkiness to do the same for handheld camperas. What signifier will you use when all video images, no matter what their source, are of smooth brightly colored RoboKopter quality?
I'm still not seeing as many of these things as I would expect. Maybe the change will come quickly, and within a year or two they will be omnipresent. That's the way it happens.