- Twitter is collectively freaking out over a video showing a giant Amazon blimp deploying a swarm of delivery drones.
- The video, however, is fake, created by a Twitter user.
- The computer-generated blimp is based on a real patent Amazon filed in 2014 for a drone delivery service with an “airborne fulfillment center.”
A video making the rounds on Twitter shows a massive Amazon blimp floating over a neighbourhood and unleashing an army of delivery drones.
Before you panic at what one Twitter user called a “borderline dystopian” image, the video is fake. It seems a tech-savvy Twitter user created the blimp with computer-generated imagery and posted it online, where it took on a life of its own.
— zozi009 (@zozi009) March 31, 2019
But the idea of an Amazon blimp isn’t entirely fictional – it’s based on a patent Amazon filed in 2014.
In pursuing a drone delivery service, Amazon patented the idea of a floating, blimplike airship, called an “airborne fulfillment center,” that would store products midair, and an accompanying network of “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or drones, that would pick up items from the blimp and deliver them to customers.
The idea was floated to solve issues Amazon was having in its pursuit of a full-fledged delivery service. Launching a drone from the ground for each package delivery requires a great amount of energy, and a blimp that drones could “float” down from would conserve a drone’s energy.
Amazon has for years been hinting at plans for a drone delivery service. In 2013, Jeff Bezos told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that Amazon’s “octocopter” delivery drones would be operational in four or five years.
It’s 2019, and we still don’t have drones dropping off our Amazon packages. But if the reactions to the CGI video circulating online are any indicator, plenty of people are fine with that.
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