Amazon was just issued a patent for a UAV that can interpret gesture and vocal commands, a device that could in theory be used to deliver packages. First spotted by GeekWire, the patent describes a drone-like device outfitted with various sensors, cameras and other equipment that could recognize gestures such as a person waving it towards them or someone shooing it away. In some very entertaining illustrations, the patent shows the UAV approaching a human who's waving at it wildly. This isn't the only device that incorporates human gesture as a control mechanism. DJI's Spark drone can be directed with arm movement and a recent Samsung patent shows a drone that can track users' eyes, heads and hands and can be controlled through gesture.
Patents don't mean anything right up until the moment that they mean everything, so take it as read that none of this could happen. Amazon has, however, registered a patent for a concept that it's calling a "Multi-Level Fulfillment Center for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles." Which is a fancy way of saying that it wants to build enormous cylindrical warehouses at the heart of towns and cities. Rather than delivery folks driving parcels to your home, the building will be jam-packed with drones, which fill fly in and out of the location's many windows. As much of an eyesore as it would be, Amazon's idea does solve a few fairly obvious problems with being a logistics company in a city.
Nintendo might have some big surprises in store when it sheds more light on the Switch game console in January. NeoGAF forum member Rösti has noticed a slew of just-published patent applications for the hybrid system, and one of them hints that the Switch might have virtual reality support. Effectively, it would turn the Switch into a larger-than-usual Daydream View or Gear VR -- you'd slot it into a headset and use the console's detachable controllers to play. Suddenly, Nintendo's misgivings over VR seem like temporary roadblocks. There's no guarantee that Nintendo will have a VR headset ready and waiting for the March launch, or at all.
This is One Good Thing, a weekly column where we tell you about one of the few nice things that happened this week. Do androids dream of electric sheep? Who knows -- but tiny computers certainly dream of bitmap horses! At least this computer does. In an animation titled "a computer dreams of being a cowboy," your heart will take the hardest hit to the feels from an inanimate object since The Little Toaster.
Choose to play as your favorite member of the Rebel Alliance and embark on a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans on Scarif! In this re-imagining of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story we get a glimpse of what this action-packed adventure would look like if it were an 8-Bit video game. 'Eff everything and everyone': Tennis comeback star gives best speech ever