Really? To me it looks like the definite future. Battery technology will eventually catch up I would hope, and the laws against drones will just make way for regulations.
Not sure if you read the article, but there are real world applications where drones are already viable, for example international shipping routes or shipping between remote villages in Africa. The infrastructure for this is going to be there, and over enough time all the technology issues will be resolved. The key factor is figuring out how to make that shiney magical profit, and that is one thing humans all over the world have proven they are dedicated to.
But I agree a little bit with your thoughts, some of the drone ideas will never be made practical. But at the same time some new applications will emerge that arent even considered yet that just might change industries. (I love the drone/defibrillator idea, this could be further expanded into remote assessment and offering other treatment options).