Don't believe that video being passed around showing a giant Amazon blimp sending out a swarm of delivery drones
- Twitter is collectively freaking out over a video showing a giant Amazon blimp deploying a swarm of delivery drones.
- The video, however, is fake, and was computer generated by a Twitter user.
- The CGI blimp is based off a real patent Amazon filed in 2016 for a drone delivery service with "airborne fulfillment centers."
A video making the rounds on Twitter shows a massive Amazon blimp floating over a neighborhood 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 a computer-generated video of the blimp, and posted it online, where it took on a life of its own.However, the Amazon blimp isn't entirely based on a fictional idea. It's based on an actual patent Amazon filed back in December 2016. To pursue its efforts for a drone delivery service, Amazon patented the idea of floating blimp-like airships - called "airborne fulfilment centers" - that would store products midair, and an accompanying network of drones - called "unmanned aerial vehicles" - 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 an aerial blimp that drones could "float" down from would conserve each drone's energy use.
Amazon has been hinting at plans for a drone delivery service for years. In 2013, Jeff Bezos said on CBS' "60 Minutes" that Amazon's "octocopter" delivery drones would be operational in four to five years' time.