Industry News: Sony to enter the drone market with Airpeak

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Press Release: Tokyo, Japan – Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced that it has launched a new project for drones in the field of AI robotics.
The recent proliferation of drones has contributed greatly to the delivery of previously unseen images, as well as to workflow efficiency and energy savings in the industrial sector. Sony has assigned the “Airpeak” brand to reflect its aspiration to contribute to the further evolvement and the creation of unprecedented value through its imaging and sensing technology as well as 3R technologies (Reality, Real-time, and Remote) in the drone area.

Airpeak will support the creativity of video creators to the fullest extent possible, aiming to contribute to the further development of the entertainment industry as well as to improved efficiency and savings in various industries. Airpeak will also promote this project to enable drone-use with the highest level of safety and reliability in the environments where this has been difficult...
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Atlasman

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In light of the shrinking market, it's surprising that the camera makers have not diversified into drones, external recorders and gimbals.
 
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Franklyok

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From sensors perspective Sony has great potential to do nice phones, to compete with Huawei. And still they underperform.
 

Aregal

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In light of the shrinking market, it's surprising that the camera makers have not diversified into drones, external recorders and gimbals.
I think Canon did the opposite and shot for internal 10-bit 4:2:2 and internal RAW capabilities instead with the RF line, emphasizing a compact and weather resistant system.
 

usern4cr

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There's a massive market for people to buy drones, so it's no surprise to see Sony get into it. I am surprised that Canon hasn't gotten into it yet. I'd like to see some serious competition to DJI.
 
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woodman411

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In light of the shrinking market, it's surprising that the camera makers have not diversified into drones, external recorders and gimbals.
There could be other motives too, such as prodding from the government, since many of them are suspicious of Chinese tech companies, especially ones that can glean intelligence data like drones (and mobile devices).
 

Mike9129

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I think Canon did the opposite and shot for internal 10-bit 4:2:2 and internal RAW capabilities instead with the RF line, emphasizing a compact and weather resistant system.
They did, Im just waiting for someone to give me a proper option to swing my R5 from a drone!

Including image transmission and remote settings control!
 

Joules

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It doesn't mean it won't go well for others.
But gimbal and external recorders are accessoires for cameras right? Their sales will shrink along with the high end camera market (which does not contract nearly as much as the low end).

And drones are pretty niche as well, and also have more electrical and mechanical aspects than optical. So not necessarily along the line of expertise of camera manufacturers.
 

usern4cr

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But gimbal and external recorders are accessoires for cameras right? Their sales will shrink along with the high end camera market (which does not contract nearly as much as the low end).

And drones are pretty niche as well, and also have more electrical and mechanical aspects than optical. So not necessarily along the line of expertise of camera manufacturers.
Drones are pretty niche? - Maybe now, but not in the future.
I remember when arcade games came out. They were the big hit and stores everywhere wanted one (and didn't have one) so the companies made a ton of them and eventually the market became saturated.
Then the console games came out. They were the big hit and everybody wanted one (and didn't have one) so the companies made a ton of them and eventually the market became saturated.
Then the iphones and their games came out. They were the big hit and everybody wanted one (and didn't have one) so the companies made a ton of them and eventually the market became saturated.

Now you have something completely new - drones. They are the new "games", as well as "flying cameras" and "robot deliverers". Lots of people & industry will want one (and don't have one) so the companies will now scramble to make a ton of them and eventually the market will become saturated. But not until those companies will make a ton of money and sell hundreds of millions of them worldwide (literally). Every drone will have camera components to go along with everything else. Anyone manufacturing sensors, lens, IS components, IC's, motors etc should be interested in getting a piece of that pie while it lasts. They will be vertically marketed from mere toys to high end models for us pro-sumers and mail/package/food/product deliverers.
 

Joules

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Drones are pretty niche? - Maybe now, but not in the future.
I remember when arcade games came out. They were the big hit and stores everywhere wanted one (and didn't have one) so the companies made a ton of them and eventually the market became saturated.
Then the console games came out. They were the big hit and everybody wanted one (and didn't have one) so the companies made a ton of them and eventually the market became saturated.
Then the iphones and their games came out. They were the big hit and everybody wanted one (and didn't have one) so the companies made a ton of them and eventually the market became saturated.

Now you have something completely new - drones. They are the new "games", as well as "flying cameras" and "robot deliverers". Lots of people & industry will want one (and don't have one) so the companies will now scramble to make a ton of them and eventually the market will become saturated. But not until those companies will make a ton of money and sell hundreds of millions of them worldwide (literally). Every drone will have camera components to go along with everything else. Anyone manufacturing sensors, lens, IS components, IC's, motors etc should be interested in getting a piece of that pie while it lasts. They will be vertically marketed from mere toys to high end models for us pro-sumers and mail/package/food/product deliverers.
No offense, but liken drones to gaming devices and smartphones seems silly.

A drone is a very specific piece of equipment. It does only one thing. A modern gaming console allows you to play a wide selection of games and access different streaming platforms for consumption of movies and user created content. And it has a certain focus on social aspects due to online (or rarely local) multi-player and the simple fact that games are an easy conversation topic.

Smartphone does that (although the games are very different of course) and much, much more.

You'll never play a different game than 'fly around your position and look at stuff' with your drone. And you'll not use it to check social media, or the news, your mails, or have a call or zoom chat on the go. And I can't imagine a multi-player experience beyond drone racing - which does exist and is also very niche. And again, just one thing.

Also, in many places, use of drones is highly regulated. As it should be, since they pose security and privacy concerns.

As for logistics purposes, yes, in that regard there is a more realistic area of growth and the subject receives a lot of interest. Still, I don't really see the incentive for a company like Canon or Sony to develop the capability to compete in this market. What makes you expect this to be a simple matter for them? Do they have adjacent manufacturing facilities? Is there really such a gap in the supply that new comers are able to arrive and just take a big share of the pie?
 

usern4cr

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No offense, but liken drones to gaming devices and smartphones seems silly.

A drone is a very specific piece of equipment. It does only one thing. A modern gaming console allows you to play a wide selection of games and access different streaming platforms for consumption of movies and user created content. And it has a certain focus on social aspects due to online (or rarely local) multi-player and the simple fact that games are an easy conversation topic.

Smartphone does that (although the games are very different of course) and much, much more.

You'll never play a different game than 'fly around your position and look at stuff' with your drone. And you'll not use it to check social media, or the news, your mails, or have a call or zoom chat on the go. And I can't imagine a multi-player experience beyond drone racing - which does exist and is also very niche. And again, just one thing.

Also, in many places, use of drones is highly regulated. As it should be, since they pose security and privacy concerns.

As for logistics purposes, yes, in that regard there is a more realistic area of growth and the subject receives a lot of interest. Still, I don't really see the incentive for a company like Canon or Sony to develop the capability to compete in this market. What makes you expect this to be a simple matter for them? Do they have adjacent manufacturing facilities? Is there really such a gap in the supply that new comers are able to arrive and just take a big share of the pie?
Well, the gist of my post was that there is a vast market potential that is currently at a near vacuum, so that there will be be a massive profit to be made by those companies filling the market until it is saturated.

I brought up games more as an example of how a market appeared out of nowhere, got filled at vast profit, and then became saturated. I also mentioned many other uses for drones beyond just games, and it will turn out that those other uses will be much more in demand for drones than just games. Companies are in business to make money, and this is a vast new market for that.

I know that there are certain areas that are off limits to drones. It used to be you couldn't fly RC planes in most places, and that has changed drastically. I expect it to continue changing in the future as more people want it and manufacturers push for them to be most everywhere and politicians are happy to take their election backing money.

Finally, what I didn't mention is my personal opinion of drones. You may think my post indicates I'm a strong supporter of drones. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think drones will be a scourge on the planet, with flying drones invading our privacy almost everywhere, and while they may have many benefits they will also have the potential for extreme terrorism since they have the ability to become flying bombs or flying guns in the hands of anyone with a vendetta. I share the same dread regarding the future of computer driven cars and trucks, which while being useful for many they can also become enormous weapons for those planning harm. Ditto for mobile robots in public. They will concentrate wealth to the owners of the companies that make them, but will put more people out of work and a future without jobs for most people is a recipe for unrest and disaster.
 
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Atlasman

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But gimbal and external recorders are accessoires for cameras right? Their sales will shrink along with the high end camera market (which does not contract nearly as much as the low end).

And drones are pretty niche as well, and also have more electrical and mechanical aspects than optical. So not necessarily along the line of expertise of camera manufacturers.
With your line of thinking, Apple would still be just doing computers. Instead, they diversified by leveraging their existing competencies to enter new markets.