It’s official: Sony is getting into the drone business. Earlier today the electronics giant announced in a press release that it’s partnering up with Japanese robotics and automation company ZMP to launch a new drone venture called Aerosense Inc.
Don’t get too excited though. Unfortunately, the new company won’t actually be building or selling any rad new quadcopters for me and you to play with. Rather than jumping in the ring with consumer drone companies like DJI, Parrot, and others, Aerosense plans to use drones to provide aerial surveying services to businesses.
“Sony’s camera, sensing, telecommunications network, and robotics technologies will be leveraged alongside ZMP’s automated driving and robotics technologies together with their business experience in industrial fields,” the company stated in a press release. “Aerosense Inc. will combine these assets and develop comprehensive solutions that meet needs including measuring, surveying, observing, and inspecting.”
It might not sound like the most lucrative venture at first, but there are a ton of industries (agriculture, urban planning and development, forestry, etc.) that could benefit from faster, better, more efficient surveying. If Aerosense can deliver these services, it could very well become a big player in the business side of the drone space.
“We’re looking to explore new opportunities beyond our core consumer portfolio in enterprise markets,” Hiroki Totoki, head of Sony’s smartphone unit, told The Wall Street Journal. “The key to driving growth in these areas will be adapting Sony’s innovation in various technologies.”
Aerosense is due to launch sometime in August, but it won’t begin offering its services to customers until 2016, Sony and ZMP representatives said. When the company is incorporated, ZMP will take a (slightly) minor stake in the company (49.995 percent), which leaves Sony as the majority owner.
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