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Qualcomm video shows how much smarter drones will get in 2016

A quick preview of the new Snapdragon Flight chipset

Earlier this year, chipmaker Qualcomm announced it would be producing a custom version of its widely used Snapdragon chipset for drones. The company says that its Snapdragon Flight processors will bring down the cost of drones, improve their battery life, and make advanced features more widely available. This new video from Qualcomm offers a preview of Snapdragon Flight's capabilities, showing a drone autonomously dodging obstacles and mapping out 3D spaces with built-in sensors. (A warning, though, the music is pretty atrocious.)

Qualcomm says its chips will more than halve the average price of 4K camera drones

Qualcomm say this is just a "sneak peak" (they mean peek — there's nothing mountainous about the video), but it will be showing off Snapdragon Flight in more detail at CES next week. "We believe that, with this chip, we can cut the price of the average 4K camera drone from $1,200 down to $300 or $400," Qualcomm's Raj Talluri told The Verge in October. "And we think we can extend the battery life from 20 minutes to 45 to 60 minutes. That will open them up to a much broader audience and a whole new range of applications." Basically, look out for a bunch of smarter drones coming to the skies near you in 2016.


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