News leaks suggest China’s tech giant Tencent will develop a control-easy palm-sized drone targeted at a broad range of consumers in place of drone fans. Tencent isn’t the first tech giant to set its feet into the drone business, and it will definitely not be the last.
Who is already in the business and what are they up to? AllChinaTech reviews the players in the drone business.
When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first told people Amazon was planning on delivering parcels with drones, his plan was described as “futuristic” or even “unrealistic”. However, though we have still to see parcel-delivering drones all around the place, at least the idea sounds to us more practical now. The latest news about Amazon’s drone delivery business is that the Federal Aviation Administration is testing the reliability of drones from manufacturers and drone delivery service providers like Amazon. Hopefully, we’ll soon be seeing certified drones in the sky with better regulation and be less concerned about whether those drones will crash my iPhone 6s into the woods.
In an interview with USA Today, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer addressed drones as one of Facebook’s three main focuses for the future. Facebook’s drone development plan is part of its ambition to get the entire world connected to the Internet through its Internet.org project. Drones in the future, may likely serve as base stations above the clouds. It was reported in August that Facebook planned to test its first full-scale solar-powered drone Aquila later this year.
Everyone is excited for GoPro’s new drone even though it won’t be released until the first half of 2016. GoPro just published a video shot by the not-yet-released quadcopter earlier this month and people have seemed more than satisfied. The quality of the video is doubtlessly good considering GoPro’s expertise in cameras, but what impressed people more was the stabilization capabilities presented by the new drone. GoPro has won a big fan base with its outstanding action camera, and the new drone maybe it’s next chance to grow its fan base even bigger.
Intel & Qualcomm
Conventional chip manufacturers are now stepping into the new area of drones to seek opportunities to develop their business. It’s reported that Intel poured USD 60 million into Chinese drone maker Yuneec, while Qualcomm is trying to make its Snapdragon series the default chipset for the next generation of drones. Though they’re not directly building their own drones, with flight control systems the key to battery life and flight time for drones, if all goes as planned, both companies will likely feature heavily in the drone business of the future.
Does Tesla have its own drone? Not really. British designer Fraser Leid’s design of a Tesla concept drone incorporating Tesla technology has excited a lot of people however. Though it’s only a concept drone, it’s already caught a lot attention. Unlike the currently prevailing quadcopter-style design, the Tesla drone is equipped with two independent propellers, which can be manipulated into both vertical and horizontal positions. Regardless of whether it’s ever released in the future, Tesla fulfilling a wide-angle 30 megapixel camera design with 4K video, an astounding 60 minutes of flight time and coupling that with an exceptional futuristic design as Leid prescribed, has already established a craving among drone lovers.