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Intel Buys More Drone Market Technology

John Walden

John Walden

Intel Corp. continues to embrace the drone market, acquiring Ascending Technologies just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show 2016. The deal comes after Intel previously invested in three other drone companies.

Ascending Technologies, based in Germany, has “best-in-class drone auto-pilot software and algorithms,” according to Josh Walden, senior VP and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group. In a blog post, Walden further described the deal’s value:

“With Ascending Technologies, Intel gains expertise and technology to accelerate the deployment of Intel RealSense technology into the fast growing drone market segment. We plan for the Ascending Technologies team to continue supporting their current customers while also collaborating with Intel’s Perceptual Computing team to develop UAV technology that can help drones fly with more awareness of their environments.”

UAV is short for unmanned aerial vehicles. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Intel’s Drone Strategy

At first glance, Drones are like early day PCs — available as kits, and hungry for plenty of chip technology. But take a closer look and this is far more than a chip opportunity for Intel.

Indeed, Intel is trying to extend more rapidly beyond chips into software and artificial intelligence — helping Drones to “fly with more awareness of their environments,” Walden wrote in the blog post. Intel is expected to share more details about the deal and strategy during this week’s CES 2016 conference in Las Vegas.

Drone-centric applications are starting to spill over into the IT channel, and IT service providers have been watching the market closely. For instance, Directive CEO Chris Chase has been educating customers and readers about emerging drone technologies and key considerations before flight. Directive is an IT service provider in Oneonta, N.Y.

Also, HTG Peer Groups CEO Arlin Sorensen also is a farmer — deeply involved in the agriculture market. He’s an expert on precision AG — and has closely tracked how UAVs are impacting farming.

Major conferences like InterDrone 2016, for instance, have emerged as a platform for demonstrating drone-centric applications across multiple verticals.

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