A display that can fly and be controlled by your eyes: Can the idea fly its way into a product of the future? Think drone with display that can detect a person's face, pupils, hand gestures and position.
Samsung Display is exploring this idea and describes it in its patent application, "Flying Display Device" which is getting a lot of patent buzz this month.
It was first filed in January 2016. The patent talks about an LCD screen mounted on a four-propeller flying device that follows your gaze. Why and for what?
The patent's focus is on a display device that is capable "of changing an angle thereof based on a gaze of a user while moving along with the user by automatically tracking the user, without an additional operation performed by the user."
The patent was spotted by LetsGoDigital.
Interpreting the patent talk, Quartz said it essentially sounded "like a tablet connected to a drone." The patent discussion involved a design where the screen is able to move "to a suitable viewing angle for a person in front of it."
The Verge's Thuy Ong wrote that the drone's flight speed and direction can be controlled by moving your head, eyes, or hands.
Components? Michael Irving, New Atlas, said, "sounds like any other drone: the flying display would be kitted out with a flight control unit, power source, gyroscope, motion sensor, accelerometer, obstacle detection, GPS and a more local Wi-Fi-based positioning system. "
Irving said, "A sensor unit would be pointed at the user to track where their face and eyes are pointing, and to read and react to gestures and voice commands."
Applications? Tech sites drew varied scenarios where the patent concept might be applied. While the word drone generally evokes visions of surveillance or package delivery mechanisms, the remarks here went in other directions.
Ong said, "I could see these Samsung drones being used for something like advertising. Imagine walking along the street and having all these drones that can detect your face following you, displaying targeted ads."
Michael Irving, New Atlas: It could be handy to have a recipe hovering in front of you while your hands are busy with the cooking. Irving also thought about factory scenarios where workers must keep their hands free and must stay in focus. The devices could be used to deliver "instructions easy for factory workers to see."
Marco Margaritoff, The Drive, like Ong, saw the possibility of its use in advertising.
"Upon first glance at the basics, here, it's clear that this would be the perfect, autonomous targeted-advertising machine." Margaritoff said one could imagine the device "whirring by you at a shopping mall." It could identify you, present targeted store suggestions or offer deals if you are willing to give out personal information. "In an era of ubiquitous social-media relationships between users and corporations, and the increasing affordability in the drone technology sector—this frankly seems like the logical next step we've all thought of before."