It would seem that the "killer application" would be to combine the magnetometer with an inertial guidance system. The magnetometer could orient the device when the earth's magnetic field is reliably sensed. Motion sensors (accelerometers) and rotation sensors (gyroscopes) would maintain orientation information when the electronic device was moving around an environment which blocked or distorted the magnetic field. Animals have been utilizing redundant orientation systems for millenia.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.