Teleconferencing has been around for years now, and there have been a lot of advancements which have made the experience more useful over the year. We’ve gone from audio-only calls to those enhanced with webcams. Then the webcam was made mobile thanks to the advent of a tablet mounted onto a segway.
But Google wants to take that mobility factor a step further. The company’s latest patent tells of a quad-copter drone which has a display mounted to its front. It’ll have all the other usual bells and whistles needed for carrying out calls too, including a webcam, a microphone, and speakers.
The idea here, then, is rather obvious: you can move around at meetings more freely! Instead of only moving around a limited ground area that segways have to deal with, a drone can fly above, through, and around everyone. It can leave the room and go downstairs without any assistance (so long as a door doesn’t need to be opened). It can fly to your office to check meeting notes in case you forgot something (but if you’re teleconferencing, why wouldn’t your notes already be with you on whichever device you’re using?)
Now that we think about it, this idea doesn’t sound all that practical. What’s the purpose of flying around a meeting room? You can’t pass out notes or reach across the table to pick up donuts. Perhaps it’s ideal if you need to get a better look at a whiteboard. We’d say the same for slides, but you probably already have a copy of that on your local machine.
Even if you do find that one useful scenario where you’re represented by a drone in the meeting room, are the downsides of operation worth the coolness that comes with it? You have to actively fly it, we imagine. It could be loud and a major distraction. You have to mind the safety of co-workers. Oh, and the battery most likely doesn’t last long enough to get you through the opening parts of a meeting.
But that doesn’t mean Google can’t think about it, and that’s the only way they’ll figure out if there is an actual need for drones in a meeting room. How would you carry out your virtual meetings?