Amazon has patented its Alexa intelligence, personal assistance technology, which could lead to widespread uses for tiny, voice-controlled drones that could be used for everything from finding missing people to locating parked cars.
“People lose things all the time. It is common for a people to lose their car in a large, crowded parking lot. Children can become separated from their parents in shopping malls or at crowded amusement parks. Numerous technologies exist just to enable people to find their keys,” Amazon said in the patent announcement.
“As a result, it would be useful to be able to quickly scan a parking lot for a car or a store for a lost child, for example, using a combination of speed and altitude to improve and expedite the process.”
As the patent explained, some of the of the primary ways that Alexa could be used are for locating lost items, vehicles and children. UAS installed with Alexa could be responsible for scanning a parking lot or store to more quickly locate a missing object or person.
In regards to cars specifically, the patent stated, “If a user has lost their car in a parking lot, therefore, the user can command the UAV to ‘find car.’ The command can be in the form of a voice command, for example, a button on a key fob (similar to the emergency button), or an app on the user's phone.”
Another unique use could be installing Alexa on a device in an effort to provide security or turn a device into a recording device.
“In some examples, the UAV can also be used as a security or recording device. In situations in which a user feels uncomfortable or in danger, such as walking down a city street at night, the UAV may act as a deterrent to potential attackers, provide piece of mind, and, worst case scenario, document the crime for police,” the patent document says.
Speaking of police, Alexa could also convert UAS into mobile dash cams for police, or in the case of firefighters, a UAS could be used to help spot fires using thermal imaging cameras. They could also perch on the shoulders of police officers and give an eye in the sky for traffic stops or even help pursue suspects on the lam.
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