Despite acquiring a significant number of drone companies and possessing all the tools to mount a serious assault on the consumer drone market, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has revealed that there are no plans to take on the likes of DJI.
The move – or lack of a move – makes sense considering that the tech giant owns a significant stake in drone manufacturer Yuneec. But it’s still a shame that the consumer sector won’t benefit from Intel’s substantial resources and technologies.
Speaking at Code Conference 2017 with tech publication Recode, Brian Krzanich confirmed that “You’re not going to see us [Intel] in consumer drones”.
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Intel focus on commercial market is all about data
Instead, he said, the focus will be on the commercial sector. Specifically, he mentioned how drones, autonomous flight and artificial intelligence can come together to save lives.
“It’s about data,” he said. “So what we’re looking at is commercial drones. We’re trying to understand how data can be ingested and how and how you can apply artificial intelligence.”
Hundreds of people per year are killed inspecting power lines and cell towers. “We can eliminate all of that”, he suggests.
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Intel is probably best known in the industry as the pioneer behind the spectacular light shows that have graced the skies above the Super Bowl, the Sydney Opera House and more.
As well as holding a significant stake in Chinese manufacturer Yuneec, Intel has a number of investments and acquisitions in the drone space. These include PrecisionHawk and Airware.
The company’s RealSense obstacle avoidance technology has been used in Yuneec’s most advanced drones. But most interesting is Intel’s acquisition of computer vision startup Movidius. Movidius supplies obstacle avoidance technology to DJI, so it’s fair to say that Intel has significant, though not direct, interest in the consumer drone market.
Intel currently sells Yuneec’s Typhoon H on its website, as well as its own drone, the Aero. The Aero has the company’s RealSense technology and is a ready-to-use platform for developers and researchers. After Krzanich’s recent comments it looks like that’s as close as we’re going to get to Intel’s own consumer drone.