Intel's drone investment, faster in-flight WiFi, IFA preview - The Wrap

IDG News Service | Aug 27, 2015

Intel invests in drone technology, Google responds to the European Commission, the FAA approves faster in-flight WiFi and we give you a preview of the IFA consumer electronics show coming up next week in Berlin.

Intel invests in drones and in flight WiFi is gonna speed up.


Here's your tech top 3 and what you need to know this week. Intel has invested more than 60 million dollars into Yuneec a drone maker based in China. Intel is hoping that the partnership will lead to new products. A less known name in the drone space, Yuneec makes a range of drones for aerial photography. Intel needs to play catch up to other tech companies like Amazon and Google who are already developing drones of their own.

Google plans to fight the assertion from the European Commission that the company engaged in anti competitive business practices. Antitrust violations were leveled by the EU back in April and after asking for two extensions, Google has responded. In a statement Google general counsel said that the Commission did not provide evidence that Google's displays of paid ads from merchants diverted traffic away from shopping services. The EU could fine Google up to 6 and a half billion dollars.

Gogo, the company that provides in flight Wifi has been approved by the FAA to offer faster service which will roll out this year. Gogo 2Ku technology will offer speeds up to 70 megabits per second. That's a lot faster than the 3 megabits per second available now. Capacity will still be shared among everyone on the flight so actual speeds will vary. Seven airlines have signed up for the service covering more than 500 airplanes.

In focus we take a look at the upcoming IFA consumer electronics show where we'll be reporting from next week. While it takes place in Berlin, there are a number of global announcements and the show acts as a precursor to CES in January in Las Vegas. Normally we'd expect to see the next version of Samsung's Galaxy Note, but we already got that two weeks ago. Instead eyes will be on smart watches and Samsung is expected to debut its Gear S2 watch whcih we already got a tease of on Instagram and YouTube. It looks slick and I'm interested in getting my hands on it. We'll have more from Samsung's press conference next Thursday.
Trade shows are all about the wild and outrageous. Last year almost every major electronics vendor showed off curved TVs with the idea being that each pixel is equidistant from your eye. For that actually to work though you'd need to stand far away, but that would also be after you spent a huge amount of money on the set. This year we're expecting to see lots of TVs equipped with HDR or high dynamic range. These TVs are supposed to produce better contrast with the help of special programming encoded for the format. Amazon offers HDR video content, but like 3D if the technology is going to take off, then more content providers will need to embrace the format. From the practical to the extreme, we'll bring you the whole mix when our coverage begins from Berlin next Wednesday. I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap.