Drone study looks to revolutionize video-conferencing

They've changed the way we see the world, now one University of Calgary student wants to use drones to change the way we video chat.

Search and rescue operations would benefit from drone's 360 view, says U of C student

Brennan Jones checks on his drone, which he's using to test the usefulness of video-conferencing with the flying machine. (CBC/Meg Wilcox)

They've changed the way we see the world, now one University of Calgary student wants to use drones to change the way we video chat.

Currently, few people use their cell phones — let alone drones — to video chat on a regular basis, especially while on the go, says Brennan Jones.

"[Current video conferencing technologies] are designed to be just like your desktop counterparts. So they're more so for talking heads experiences," says Jones.

"But with a lot of mobile conferencing scenarios, you want to see where everything is in that environment — how you would move around it if you were physically there."

Jones is studying the possibility of this immersive video chat experience for his master's thesis in human-computer interaction. 

One use for this technology is search and rescue situations, but could be applied to any scenario where a bird's eye view would come in handy.

He says feedback so far has been positive, but he'll really start testing this week as partners use the drone to complete different tasks. 

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