If you already have trouble focusing at business meetings while colleagues are droning on, the addition of a real drone could either be the best or worst thing to ever happen to your career. As per a new Google patent, the tech giant has plans for a small, screen-equipped quadcopter that would buzz around a room, bringing the teleconference into the 21st century.
Attempting to replace the standard videoconferencing setup (which normally consists of a stationary camera and screen that makes at least one, if not all, meeting participants look somewhat isolated, the drone solution would fly about the room, focusing in on each meeting member at the appropriate time. Outfitted with a microphone and speakers, this drone idea may just be the closest we’ve come to being together, even when we’re apart.
As per the patent, the quadcopter is H-shaped, with a propeller on each of the H’s “legs.” One version of the drone shows a screen hanging off the front end of the machine, while a mini projector sits at the back. The screen’s display area would be “semi-translucent” to allow for the viewing of images projected from the rear.
Also involved in this grand plan appears to be a smartphone with a built-in projector, similar to the Smart Cast phone.
Google notes that “the smartphone may receive images from the user at the remote location, and may project the received images through a projector included with the smartphone.”
It’s still a work in progress (and nothing more than a patent at this stage), but soon, we could be having meetings with not only other humans, but drones as well. And finally, you’d be able to move around in your remote meetings, and count on your image and your audio remaining stable throughout.