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Enrique Iglesias Hurt By Drone, Makes Case For New FAA Rules

Enrique Iglesias's drone injury raises questions about the rules (and wisdom) of flying such gadgets over large crowds.
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For people who hate drones, Enrique Iglesias can be your hero, baby. The popular singer and boyfriend of tennis pro Anna Kournikova (who is mentioned here only because I like Anna Kournikova) reached out last night and cut his hand on his own drone.

Besides causing Iglesias to postpone his tour for a month, the accident gives fodder to all those who think drones shouldn't be in our air space.

Iglesias hurt himself badly enough to need hand surgery, so we're talking no minor cut here. It brings up some questions. First, why didn't the thing have a guard around its blades, and if it did (it is hard to see in the video), why did Iglesias think it was a good idea to touch it? Second, isn't the point of a drone to control a camera so no one has to touch it? Most importantly, do we want these flying death machines over a giant crowd of people?

The craziest part about it is that the drone was a regular part of the show. The drone is supposed to buzz in close to Iglesias, and he often would grab it to give a close up camera view of his handsome face or of the crowd. Here is the least graphic video we have:

For a bloodier aftermath video, you're on your own. I will tell you this. He drew a heart with his own blood for his fans. If that's not devotion, I don't know what is.

Seems like the safest thing would be for his girlfriend to stand in the audience and beat the drone with a tennis racket every time it got near the crowd. It might be the only opponent she could beat. (OK, that was harsh, considering it wasn't Kournikova who was dumb enough to touch a spinning blade).

This isn't the last foolish thing someone is going to do in the world. The FAA might just have a new area of emphasis on its hands. It is used to talking about what flies through the air at high altitudes. It may have to think about the people on the ground more than ever before.

[ Should drones be allowed in public? Read Chris Anderson: Weaponized Lego, Drones and IoT. ]

Current FAA regulations (though this concert was in Mexico) require weight limits and include line-of-sight rules. To my knowledge, they do not include any rules about exposed dangerous parts on the drones themselves. It seems like one future potential regulation should be around materials the blades are made of, and what kind of housing they should rest inside. You won't be able to eliminate all injuries, but if blades are harder to reach (without ruining flight characteristics) it might prevent further harm to those who are more adept at singing than they are at thinking.

While Iglesias recovers, the world must content itself with his father Julio singing his greatest hit, To All the Drones I've Loved Before.

[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek Conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]