Drone powerhouse DJI looks set to dominate another drone sector in the commercial market, thermal imaging.
Chinese drone manufacturer DJI on Thursday announced a collaboration with Flir Systems Inc.FLIR, -0.61% an Oregon-based sensor manufacturer that focuses on thermal imaging. The two companies are building their first joint product called the Zenmuse XT.
Thermal imaging for drones is particularly useful for search and rescue, fire-fighting and agricultural purposes. A thermal-camera-equipped drone flying over the forest that picks up on a hot spot could indicate a person on the ground. Thermal cameras flying over a burning building that show a cool spot could indicate a safer entry point for firefighters. And farmers use thermal imaging as they fly over fields to indicate dry spots or over-watering.
The Zenmuse XT will be released in the first quarter of 2016 and will allow users to collect aerial images while in complete darkness and measure temperature.