Sony’s highly anticipated first drone, the Airpeak, still does not have an official price or release date, even as we move deeper into the company’s target release of “spring 2021.” We do have an indication that Sony is moving along with the Airpeak, though, with the company putting a call out for “professional drone users,” to collaborate and provide feedback on the exciting new drone.
Sandwiched into the description of a stunning new test video that shows the Airpeak capturing breathtaking footage at Iriomote Island in Okinawa, Japan, Sony disclosed that it was searching for professional collaborators in the United States and Japan to potentially get their hands on the high-end drone. According to Sony, these collaborators will enjoy several benefits, including the opportunity to receive updates and information on product development and events hosted by Sony, but the overwhelming highlight is the opportunity to “collaborate with products under development.”
The catch here is, Sony defines professional collaborators as “people and companies who currently use drones professionally to create content or provide additional services to customers.” Unless you fit that description, it’s unlikely that you’ll get to demo the Airpeak before it hits the open market. That’s certainly a letdown for some, especially after getting another peak at what the Airpeak is truly capable of.
The Airpeak, which Sony has touted as the world’s smallest class of drone that can be equipped with an Alpha camera, has been teased in various ways in recent months. It got an official unveiling at CES 2021, and Sony has followed that up with footage of wind-resistance testing at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and road testing in Austria. Neither video, though, compares to the field testing that Sony released in recent days. The footage was recorded with the 35mm Alpha E-mount FE14mm F1.8GM lens, with the Airpeak capturing picturesque landscapes as it raced along a beach and towered over a raging waterfall.
Will the Airpeak be a hit?
It’s hard to say at this point, since so little is known about the Airpeak’s specifications, price and availability. But with DJI getting blacklisted in the United States in late 2020, it’s absolutely conceivable that Sony’s first drone could take the space by storm. At this point, it is safe to assume that the Airpeak will be anything but cheap. But if it does find success on the open market, expect Sony to build a lineup off of its flagship drone in the coming years with more affordable models that appeal to a wider audience.
The other safe assumption here is that Sony will try to have the Airpeak as close to perfection as possible before it is ready for release. With just over a month left of spring, there is technically still time for the Airpeak to meet its target release window. But with the news that Sony is looking for professional feedback for its project, no one should be surprised if the AirPeak’s debut doesn’t come until later in the year.