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Twitter wants to patent a drone controlled by tweets

Twitter wants to patent a drone controlled by tweets


For selfies and live video

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Twitter may be the latest tech giant interested in unmanned aerial vehicles — but not for delivery. The company has applied for a patent, which became available last week, for a drone capable of taking photos and videos and transmitting them through users' Twitter accounts. Of course, applying for the patent doesn’t necessarily mean Twitter plans on building a drone. However, it could be laying a foundation for a Twitter-controlled UAV.

For instance, Twitter mentions a way to use likes, retweets, and replies to control the drone's direction or what it ends up recording or photographing. Twitter also mentions telepresence and live video interview capabilities. All of this sounds pretty outlandish, from both a technical and safety standpoint. Still, it's an ambitious concept no other company is publicly considering at the moment.

"Two words: Drone selfies"

Twitter this year also launched the live-streaming app Periscope. That leaves open the possibility it could use the app in tandem with high-flying drones to capture and broadcast events through its platform, with crowds of Periscope users controlling the process. When CNBC asked for comment, a Twitter spokesperson replied with "Two words: drone selfies," in one of the more social media savvy public relations responses in Silicon Valley. Twitter stopped short of using the term "dronie," which has emerged in the last few years as a portmanteau describing the phenomenon of using UAVs to snap photos of yourself.