Sony Flies Into Enterprise — On A Drone

Sony Corp. is reportedly looking to strengthen its enterprise services in order to become less dependent on its consumer-facing products, and its latest effort to do so has got people talking.

On Monday (Aug. 24), Sony unveiled its drone prototype, a product developed in partnership with ZMP Inc. The flying machine can carry items weighing more than 20 pounds, can fly up to 106 miles per hour and can travel for more than two hours straight.

While drones have taken off among some consumers, reports in The Wall Street Journal said Sony’s new drone is part of the technology conglomerate’s entrance into the corporate services sector and will act as way for the company to explore drone technology for an array of business services through its partnership with ZMP, which has culminated in their joint venture, Aerosense.

Reports said Aerosense aims to provide drone-based land surveillance and infrastructure inspection based on autopilot technology. ZMP Chief Executive Hisashi Taniguchi said drones can improve the way business is done. “By making it automated, drones will be considerably safer because many of [the] accidents today are caused by human error,” he said at a news conference, according to reports.

The use of drones for enterprise services is not new. Earlier this year Amazon made headlines for its reported development of a drone-powered package delivery strategy, while Google is also reportedly eyeing the technology for the same reason.

But Sony’s consideration of the drone for use other than logistics could signal that corporations are taking the device seriously as a way to develop more sophisticated B2B services.

The company first announced plans for its enterprise-servicing drone in July, WSJ reported. At the time, Sony Head of Smartphones Hiroki Totoki said the company would be pivoting to new markets other than consumer-based ones. “We’re looking to explore new opportunities beyond our core customer portfolio in enterprise markets,” he said, adding that key to this strategy will be innovation of Sony technologies, including cameras, sensors and — of course — drones.

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