[CES2016] Samsung Electronics to Start Drone Business on Full-Scale

Jan 08, 2016

Samsung Electronics is going to make drones, and industries are wondering whether or not drones can be Samsung Electronics’ next driving force after Smartphones.

According to Samsung and industries on the 6th (US time), it is confirmed that Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Department formed a task force end of 2015 to enter drone business. A person with a vice-president stature has become the director of this task force that is made up of about 15 employees. Task force is currently investigating drone markets, regulations, technologies, application areas in details and already agreed with certain global businesses, which holds communication technologies between motor controller, sensor, and device, about supplying parts and technologies. As of right now, Samsung Electronics is going to challenge drone business with communication technologies, which are fundamental capabilities that Wireless Business Department possesses.

“A fact that Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Department has formed a drone task force made up of employees with vice-president stature means that it is heavily and carefully examining about entering related markets.” said a high-ranking person related to parts industry. “Because technology bases of self-flying drones that have LTE technologies are same as the bases of self-driving cars, Samsung’s high-ranking officials, who decided on entering electronic equipment business, are also showing much interest in this business.”

[CES2016] Samsung Electronics to Start Drone Business on Full-Scale

Although China’s DJI currently is the biggest drone industry globally, Samsung believes that it will be able to turn the table in the future since this business is just starting. Samsung thinks that it will be able to hold competitive edge in industrial self-flying drone markets, which will unfold in the future along with general consumer markets, if it uses LTE (long-term evolution) communication technologies.

Amazon, which is an online shopping business in the U.S., is current preparing for unmanned aerial vehicle delivery space with a name of Prime Air. Wal-Mart is also preparing for a similar service. Google is planning to commercialize bases for technologies of unmanned aerial vehicle in 2017. Experts are putting out optimistic views that drone business can be a new source of sales for Samsung after Smartphones. According to American defense market research company called Teal Group, it is estimated that global drone markets will be worth more than $10.9 billion (13 trillion KRW) in 2020. Also according to a different research company called Global Information, it is estimated that private drone markets for industrial purposes will grow on average of more than 35% yearly.

Drones received a lot of attention at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) exhibition. Area of exhibition for drones this year at CES, which was 2322 m2, increased by 200% compared to last year, and number of businesses that displayed droned also increased from 16 last year to 27 this year. China’s DJI and Yuneec, America’s Hobbico, and France’s Squadrone System were the major businesses that displayed drones.

Parts industries are also focusing their capabilities to go after drone business. Qualcomm actively introduced its drone development platform called ‘Snapdragon Flight’ that has LTE communication function. “China’s Tencent and Zero-tech are planning to introduce industrial drones that have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight Platform.“ said CEO Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm at an interview with reporters at CES. NXP, which possesses abilities in motor, sensor and communication chip, is also supplying parts and technologies that are for drones to major businesses.

Intel is pushing for a solution called Real-Sense that has a capability to recognize things. Yuneec introduced Typhoon H that has Intel’s Real-Sense technology at CES. Typhoon H has a function that prevents collision. Ascending Technology is also planning to introduce a new drone called AseTec Neo that has Intel’s chips and Real-Sense technology. Yuneec is a business that has received investments from Intel. Ascending Technology was bought out by Intel because it saw huge possibilities in Ascending Technology.

Las Vegas (U.S.) = CES Special Reporters

Chief Deputy Editor Kim, Dongseok (Team Leader), Head Department Kim, Seungkyu, Deputy Head Department Kwon, Kunho

Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop | powerusr@etnews.com

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