Sony is lifting its cameras to new heights with a drone project.
At CES 2021, the Japanese electronics giant this week announced the release of a new drone called Airpeak. The company says it’s capable of “dynamic filming and precise, stable flight, and aims to contribute to the world of entertainment while also pursuing new possibilities for creative expression.”
Airpeak is designed to carry Sony’s Alpha mirrorless camera and is “the industry’s smallest class of drone that can be equipped with the Alpha system,” according to a company spokesperson. Sony unveiled Airpeak with a promotional video depicting the drone capturing footage of its Vision-S electric car.
While the announcement was short on operational details, graphics show a rectangular quadcopter with a gimbal to hold a Sony camera below and retractable landing gear that folds upon launch. That means the gimbal can provide 360-degree aerial coverage.
Sony teased the launch of a drone project in November. A company statement noted: “Sony has assigned the Airpeak brand to reflect its aspiration to contribute to the further evolvement and the creation of the unprecedented value through its imaging and sensing technology as well as 3R technologies (Reality, Real-time and Remote) in the drone area.”
In another drone-related announcement, Sony launched a camera support upgrade in December that could revolutionize drone mapping and imaging. The company’s imaging division released the new full-frame camera support solution with upgraded SDK, app library and support for use with Sony’s Alpha range of full-frame mirrorless cameras. The new offering combines an upgraded version of Sony’s full-frame camera software development kit (SDK) with a web resource from its European imaging division to enhance the development of imaging applications. SDK upgrades include additions to the application library and support for multi-camera operation.