It’s being lauded as a potentially new way of video conferencing that may just revolutionize the office.
Essentially, it uses the same tech as any other drone with the exception of being controlled by a smartphone that’s placed inside the drone or paired with another device remotely.
While traditional video conferencing is handy enough, this drone method of communication makes talking and communicating a little more personal and natural.
“(It allows) the remote user to feel as if they are present, at the same location as that of the second user,” said the patent.
And in a sense that’s true. If you’re hovering around your office, watching people as they work and talking to people directly, that’s already a much more immersive and intuitive experience than simply talking via laptop.
It’s major selling point, according to Google, is its ability to move nearly anywhere.
“(It) may provide significant improvements in, for example, speed, manoeuvrability, energy consumptions and the like, facilitating access to spaces which may be otherwise difficult to access by larger and less manoeuvrable platform,
“Such a telepresence robot may be remotely navigated, for example, through corridors, into and out of offices, conference rooms and other work spaces,” said the patent.”
Although, for many people, having offices packed full of drones rather than people can be a little off-putting.
With their loud buzzing noises and their potential to nick people with their propellers, drones might end up becoming a nuisance rather than a convenience.
Also, having a boss hover over your work is bad enough, imagine having a drone constantly buzzing around your head.
There’s also the issue of expense. Drones can cost anywhere between $100 – $1,000 retail and offices are probably going to want to opt for the higher end models. Now attach more hardware and a screen to those expensive drones, and you’re looking at a difficult project for companies to fund.
That being said, technology continues to grow exponentially with newer and cheaper models flying off shelves every year.
While this patent may seem farfetched right now, it’s not impossible to imagine a world where cheap and well-made drones occupy our office spaces.
Whether or not that’s a good thing, only time will tell.