Samsung has won a patent for a smart drone.
The square-shaped device features propellers extending from each corner, and a tablet-like display in its central chassis. As the patent outlines, the device is designed to detect the face, pupils, and hand gestures of a user, who can control it via gesture. The smart drone could incorporate voice recognition, GPS, and WiFi functionality to further refine its controls.
Responding to the news of the patent’s issuance, journalists are having a hard time figuring out what exactly it’s for. The Verge’s Thuy Ong imagines the drone being used for advertizing, following consumers around with its multimedia messages; while Android Headlines’ Dominik Bosnjak speculates that it could be used as “an extremely mobile information panel in environments such as airports and hospitals.”
It might end up being used for nothing at all. The patent was filed at the start of 2016, and in the ensuing couple of years there has been no evidence that Samsung is actually working on a drone device for commercial launch, though it’s worth noting that it established a drone development team back in 2015, of which this patent is presumably a product. Still, this IP could prove important in the future, depending on whether drones continue their ascent in the consumer sector. In the meantime, Samsung is focusing its current efforts on a new smartphone that definitely will hit the market soon, and is slated to be unveiled by the end of the month.