Intel has no plans on selling commercial drones anytime soon, because it thinks of itself as mainly a data company, not a drone company.
It's an odd move for the company, surely, seeing as how it's been making drone components and a number of aircraft in the past year or so, including the small Shooting Star drones that we saw during this year's Super Bowl halftime show.
During the Code Conference in California on Thursday, June 1, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich confirmed that the company has no plans to release a commercial or consumer drone going forward. Such a move will put Intel in the same space occupied by top drone manufacturers such as DJI, Yuneec, and more.
Krzanich said the company is more focused on collecting and processing data from its drones. He thinks drones can help avoid certain perils in a number of fields.
"Hundreds a year are killed inspecting power lines, inspecting gas lines and cellphone towers," he said. "They fall. There are helicopter crashes. We can eliminate all that with autonomous drones and artificial intelligence."
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich: We're A Data Company
Intel, as mentioned above, prides itself as chiefly a data company. Krzanich stresses that the company makes the products that handle the collection, storage, and transmission of the said data. What's more, it's "trying to optimize the performance and cost of that."
Needless to say, Krzanich's statements mean that Intel isn't currently working on any drone slated for the consumer drone market. So don't expect to buy a drone from the chip manufacturer anytime soon.
Call it a missed opportunity, but Intel prioritizing data as a means to innovate its drone technology only makes sense for its identity. Once exclusively a microprocessor and chip maker, Intel has sought to dabble in a number of emerging fields, including artificial intelligence, automation, autonomous driving technology, and more. What do these industries have in common? Data, of course.
Perhaps, for now, Intel is intent on improving how its drones collect data and subsequently parse it down to useful information in real-time. The possibilities are endless, especially if Intel's technology could eventually be integrated in a number of fields, jobs, and industries. But Krzanich's comments seem to highlight safety as the current goal, presumably by using Intel's drones as substitutes for jobs involving life-threatening environments, such as heights.
By then, maybe Intel will be ready to produce consumer drones.
Intel's drones have already broke records. It did so last year when a single pilot flew 500 Shooting Star drones in Germany as part of a mesmerizing light show at night.
The Shooting Star drone was created specifically for light shows, and it's easy to imagine artists or performers using them in the future as part of shows or performances. They feature an almost limitless array of color combinations, and they can be mapped or programmed intricately beforehand. For instance, it's possible to program these drones to form a logo while in the sky.
Thoughts about Intel choosing not to make a consumer drone? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!