Here at Droneblog, we’re drone experts. You will admit that you yourself are not. You’re always seeking to learn more about drones, such as whether they can see inside your house once in flight.
Is that something drones can do?
Drones cannot see inside your home through the walls. However, a drone could perceive through windows if the windows aren’t blocked by curtains. Even still, a closed window could produce glare that makes it hard for the drone to get a clear image, and there are laws forbidding this behavior anyway.
If you still have some concerns, that’s perfectly valid. In this article, we’ll explain the logistics, legalities, and likelihood of a drone being able to see into your home.
Make sure you keep reading!
Can a drone see inside my house through the walls?
To the uninitiated, it’s difficult to tell what a drone is capable of just by looking at it.
This could be what’s given you the idea that a drone can see through your walls.
We’re here to tell you that that simply is not possible.
Drones do not have X-ray vision. Instead, they’re equipped with cameras.
The cameras are admittedly quite high-end, but they’re designed for capturing high-res images and videos. Some cameras have streaming capabilities for sharing drone footage on the go.
A camera can only record what’s in front of it. It cannot permeate through hard surfaces like a wall.
What about drone sensors and such? Those are mostly used for obstacle detection and GPS, not seeing through things.
The technology for a drone to see through walls simply isn’t there.
Even if such technology was somehow being developed at current (which it isn’t, as far as we’re aware), it would likely be for military or government use.
The everyday retail drone, even the high-end ones, would not be equipped with special X-ray technology.
Thus, no matter what is going on inside your house behind the walls, you can be completely certain that a drone cannot see through.
Can a drone see inside my house through the roof?
Many photos of properties taken by drones have an overhead view. You mostly see this in real estate photography, but construction companies and insurance companies may use drones in a similar way.
When a drone lingers over a property and photographs the roof, is there any way for it to see into the house?
No, there is not for the reasons mentioned above. A drone simply cannot perceive through thick walls or thick roofs.
Unless your roof had a gaping hole, then there’s no way the drone can see through it.
What about chimneys? Can a drone see through a chimney?
If a drone was equipped with a high-tech camera, then technically, yes, it could use the camera to peer down the chimney.
However, the camera wouldn’t pick up much. As advanced as camera technology is today, drone cameras cannot zoom in as much as you might think.
The max amount of zoom for drone cameras on the market as of this writing is between 4x and 5x.
That’s not enough for a drone to see all the way into your chimney.
Even if it was possible for a drone to do that, what it would pick up on its camera would be disappointing. The drone would probably be looking at the belly of your fireplace.
That’s not to say that this wouldn’t be a terrible invasion of your privacy, but the drone would not see into your house nearly as much as you might have thought.
Can a drone see inside my house through the windows?
You’re concerned about something else, and that’s the ability for a drone to see into your windows.
This is an area to be moderately worried about, but not extremely.
If your windows have blinds, curtains, or any other type of window treatment, and provided those blinds or curtains are closed, then the drone cannot see through your window.
We’ve already established that a drone lacks any kind of X-ray vision. That goes for curtains as well.
Even if you have thin, gauzy curtains or curtains that are somewhat transparent, the drone camera wouldn’t be able to get a good view of what’s beyond the window.
Perhaps some of the windows in your home are not curtained. How viably can a drone see inside?
That depends on whether the window is closed or open.
If the window is open, then yes, a drone will have its best view of all the scenarios that we’ve described throughout this article.
However, even then, a screen on your window would prevent the drone from capturing crystal-clear footage of your home.
That said, the drone would be able to “see,” via the camera into whatever room the window view afforded.
If the window is closed, then the drone will not have nearly as much luck.
By day, the window might reflect the sunlight. By night, a lamp or room light will produce glare that makes it hard for the camera to pick up on details.
Of course, if the lights are off, then the drone cannot see much of anything.
Drones don’t have night vision and don’t even do all that well in the dark.
While some models boast infrared vision, it’s likely not to the degree that they could see inside your home in the dark through a window.
Is a drone legally allowed to be on my property?
Now that we’ve talked about the practicality of a drone being able to see inside your home, we want to dedicate this section to the legality of it all.
On our blog, we have a series of drone laws for each state in the country. You should check out the rules for your home state.
Unsurprisingly, most states prohibit UAVs from flying on someone else’s private property. The punishments vary by state but usually include pricy fines as well as possible jail time.
It behooves most drone pilots to stay away from homes and other private property that doesn’t belong to them.
However, that doesn’t mean that rulebreakers aren’t out there.
In a recent article on our blog, we discussed what you should and shouldn’t do if a drone breaches your property.
Put down the shotgun, the slingshot, and the BB gun.
It’s often considered a federal crime to shoot down a drone, so you could be the one to end up in trouble even though the drone pilot was the one to originally do something wrong.
The best course of action is to find the pilot, talk to them about discontinuing the use of their drone around your property, and then seeing if they do as they said they would.
If not, then the next best thing is to document the invasions of privacy and then contact the police.
The cops will sternly talk to the drone pilot and take more action than that if the situation warrants it.
It’s a scary thought to consider that drones can see inside your home. Fortunately, it’s a mostly unrealistic concern.
Drones do not possess the technology to see through walls or roofs. The only way a drone could conceivably see into your home is through a chimney or through a window.
Even still, a drone is not supposed to be on your private property in the first place.
If you ever seen a drone around your home, try to ascertain who the pilot is, ask them to leave, and contact the police if the situation escalates.
Avoid shooting down the drone or you could be the one in legal hot water!