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Qualcomm: Everyone is going to have a drone

There’s no denying the popularity of drones is booming, but how much scope for growth is there?

Qualcomm has high hopes for the drone industry, holding the lofty view that everyone will eventually own a drone.

We spoke to Hugo Swart, Senior Director and Head of IoE Consumer Electronics at Qualcomm, about whether drones could ever see the same sort of market penetration seen from smartphones.

“What we envision is that drones and robotics, I mean it’s going to be just pervasive,” Swart tells TrustedReviews, speaking at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. “Everyone is going to have one.”

“The first association of robotics that we see getting popularity is the drone, and the key functionality being a camera,” Swart continues. “A camera that can capture images in different angles than a regular camera held in your hand. The first step towards that was the selfie stick, right?”

He adds: “The next step is this, which is something small, portable, easy to use. Throw it in the air, start taking pictures, following you, that’s where we see the market going.”

Snapdragon FlightThe Snapdragon Flight reference board

Qualcomm made public its ambitions in the drone industry in September last year with the launch of Snapdragon Flight.

Snapdragon Flight is a reference platform to help companies build drones for consumers.

Qualcomm offers OEMs a single board – based on the Snapdragon 801 smartphone chip – that offers features like drone communications and photography.

The chipmaker has also built several prototype quadcopters, one of which was shown in action at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Two manufacturers have publicly announced quadcopters based on Snapdragon Flight thus far – Yuneec and Tencent.

Snapdragon FlightSnapdragon Flight at CES 2016

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Have you bought a drone yet? Tell us why, or why not, in the comments below.

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