Sony teases upcoming Airpeak drone, taking its camera smarts airborne

Sony Airpeak
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony makes some of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras and compact cameras in the business, but the Japanese electronics giant has revealed its plans to take its photography tech to the skies via a new range of drones.

Sony has today officially announced that it will be entering the drone market, unveiling a new business division called Airpeak that will be officially launched in the first half of 2021.

According to the announcement made on the company's Japanese website, Airpeak will "support the creativity of video creators to the fullest extent possible", indicating Sony is angling to take on the competition from the likes of DJI and Parrot.

Details about the Airpeak brand and products are currently very thin on the ground, except that the drones will be based on "3R technology". That doesn't seem to be a new proprietary tech, but marketing-speak that stands for "reality, real-time and remote". At this stage, all we really have to go on is a short cryptic teaser video with no hard information.

Considering Sony's prowess in cameras, we're expecting the manufacturer's upcoming drones to offer similar technology, but it will need to surpass what the best DJI drones can currently offer in order to tempt aerial photographers and video makers away.

It seems that's a task Sony is willing to tackle, with the Airpeak mission statement on the website stating, "Bringing together the technologies we have built up so far, we will transform the realm of the sky into an endless creative space from an unprecedented free perspective."

That also likely indicates that Airpeak will be a consumer-oriented brand, especially since Sony already has an enterprise drone division called Aerosense specializing in surveying, mapping and capturing live events.

We're excited to see if Airpeak can develop into a class-leading brand, but the consumer drone market is notorious to make headway into – take a look at the GoPro Karma as a prime example.

Sony has had to learn some hard lessons with its mobile business as well, which should hopefully ensure the success of Airpeak. And we'll bring you all the developments as they unfold.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.