ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA — Amazon is working on a pocket-sized drone that could revolutionize police work, help firefighters tackle blazes, and even find your lost car.
The tech giant was granted a U.S. patent on Tuesday for a miniature drone that would be fitted with microphones and a camera, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The drone would respond to voice commands, and has several potential functions. It could be used to find a missing child through face recognition, an RFID tag, or barcode on the child’s clothing.
Amazon also imagines the pocket-sized drones may help the police catch suspects. It could hover above traffic stops to record interactions between officers and citizens.
Firefighters could also use the drones to identify people trapped in burning buildings, or equip the devices with thermal imaging cameras to locate fire “hot spots”.
The technology may be used in search and rescue missions, for example, to find a downed airliner.
Civilian uses include finding your car when you forget where you parked, or simply filming cool stuff like a GoPro.