What if you could control a drone's flight speed and direction by simply moving your eyes? The inventors at Samsung recently were awarded US Patent 9,891,885 B2 for just that very device.
The Samsung drone is a system made up of a flying display device (like a smartphone screen) and a main control unit, similar to how drones are controlled currently, according to a report at letgodigital.org.
The difference in Samsung's design is that their system includes an integrated display that 'observes' a person's face and pupils, as well as hand gestures and position. As the system tracks the drone user's eyes, head, hands, or fingers in real time, the information is transmitted to the drone's main control unit from where it commands the drone's movement. Want to see the live stream on the screen while lounging poolside? Simply angle your range of vision and the Samsung display drone will position itself for your convenience.
As shown in the patent, the Samsung flying display device is square with a motorized propeller at each corner, but the company says their technology won't be limited to a quad-rotor configuration.
The patent describes the drone's 'joint manipulator' which will change the unit's flight angle. The joint manipulators will also control the propellers to change the thrust direction. Both coordinates could be adjusted during the drone's flight.
As spec'd out in the patent, Samsung has allowed for an obstacle detection feature that would automatically see and avoid objects that could interfere with the drone's flight.
Samsung has also added sensors for future voice recognition and control of the flight unit. GPS and Wi-Fi-based positioning are part of the sensor technology package, along with smart device communication capabilities for tablets, mobile phones, and even digital wearables. Samsung suggests that the drone's user could wear an energy source such as a fuel cell or rechargeable battery to power the system.
Of course, the system includes a hi-def camera and can take commands from a third party.
Patent 9,891,885 B2 is available here. The future is getting closer.