Groundbreaking, new technology is constantly making headlines for its game-changing possibilities. With the 2016 Rio Olympics leading the way, virtual reality is transforming the way we experience faraway places and events. Pokemon Go is bringing augmented reality to a mainstream audience and impacting the way people explore the world.
What does all of this innovation mean for virtual meetings? Are new advances making videoconferencing easier, more intuitive and more reliable? Well, Google is hoping to make videoconferencing a lot cooler by adding drones.
As first reported by Quartz, Google was recently awarded a patent for a quadcopter drone, equipped with a screen and video camera. According to the patent, the mobile telepresence system would project an image from the drone’s camera onto the attached screen. Another proposed version of the drone would have the ability to project an image below the device, as if it were a hologram.
It’s possible that this technology would make videoconferencing more engaging and interactive. Rather than staring at an unmoving laptop or projector screen, meeting attendees could interact with remote participants from flying drones that move freely around a conference room.
At first glance, the idea certainly sounds cool. But dig a little bit deeper, and you might begin to question the need for these futuristic features, especially considering the current limitations of drone technology. Drones still suffer from short battery life, noisy propellers and the risk of someone’s hand getting a bit too close to the spinning blades. Drone setup and operation could also present an obstacle for corporate meeting planners. Would companies need to hire a drone operator just to run their meetings?
Currently, videoconferencing drones appear to be a fun yet impractical idea; hopefully, it will inspire even greater innovations in meetings technology.