A New Prototype Shows Drones Could Become Hovering, Annoying Billboards In The Very Near Future

The prototype is expected to be a glimpse of the future of advertising

As if there wasn’t enough concern about the privacy issues surrounding drone technology, now another troubling use for them has surfaced, and while it might not be as troubling, it’s potentially far more annoying.

Some tech-minded marketers have figured out that if you slap some LEDs on a drone, you’ve got yourself a mobile, hovering billboard that can follow crowds or individuals as they move.

[new_image position="standard large" href="" id="null"][/new_image]

Here’s what such a drone looks could look like in its natural, static state:


Here’s what it looks like when it’s illuminated:


And here’s what it looks like while hovering and illuminated:


Sure, it’s depicting an innocuous globe in these photos, provided by the drone’s creators, Japanese telecom giant NTT DOCOMO, but the firm has been forthright about the opportunity to use the hovering low-res signage at sporting events, concerts, and festivals. The drone was developed for and will take flight at the Niconico Chokaigi festival this weekend. Barring a disaster on its maiden voyage, you can expect more frequent appearances in the coming months.

Of course, there will be myriad obstacles to releasing these flying monuments to commerce over rush hour traffic in American cities, but things are changing quickly, so don’t be surprised if an advertiser goes from following you online via cookies to following you in real life using a drone.


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading