Intel has invested $60 million into Hong Kong drone maker Yuneec through its venture funding arm Intel Capital.
The news was announced by Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich and Yuneec chief executive Tian Yu in a joint Intel-Yuneec video “partially shot” by a drone, according to Intel Capital’s press release.
“We believe drones have the potential to positively change lives in many ways, whether that’s delivering consumer goods or inspecting disaster sites. And with the coming addition of Intel technology inside, Yuneec’s smart drones can create amazing possibilities,” Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich in a statement.
Regulators are still sorting out rules on commercial use of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, and the training needed to operate them safely, but it’s safe to say their use will rise in applications ranging from aerial photography, real estate, agriculture, wildlife and resource management, research and utility inspection.
Intel, which made its considerable fortune supplying the microprocessors that power PCs, laptops, and servers, is now trying to entrench them in a whole new generation of gadgets, as evidenced by the space age demos at its developer conference last week.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Krzanich showed off a variety of non-PC gadgets including a wrist-launched drone, showing how important these emerging products are to the chip maker. Intel is also plunking down more than $16 billion on programmable chip maker Altera, to boost its profile in next-gen data centers.
Intel isn’t the only tech power to go a little drone crazy. Google, Facebook, Amazon and others have all said they want to participate in this burgeoning technology.