Never underestimate humans’ fundamental desire to take something simple and completely overcomplicate it. Granted the overcomplication is often impressive in its design, it is still wholly unnecessary. Take for instance IBM’s newest patent for a coffee drone, a creation that not only takes the act of transferring a cup of coffee from one person’s hand to another person’s and adds flying machines to it but is also said to predict which random strangers it sees need a coffee.
According to CNBC, IBM has secured the patent for a coffee drone that can deliver a pre-ordered coffee to an “office, cafe or event setting” using “facial- or voice-recognition software, an electronic ID tag or Bluetooth from a person's smartphone ensures the coffee gets to the right person.” Calling out the name of the person who ordered the coffee is so 2002.
More than just delivering coffee, the drone will also “predict” who needs a caffeine boost in rather terrifying ways:
Yeah sure, I’ll give over my entire medical history to a bot controlled by a mega corporation just so it can tell me if I need coffee, something I’m completely unable to figure out myself. What’s the worst that could happen? And PS: IBM, you don’t need all those fancy widgets to know if I’ll drink another coffee. The answer is always yes. Just ask the nice people at my local grocery store handing out really terrible coffee. I’m always game.
For what it’s worth, this drone technology is also being considered for use in bars to keep from serving alcohol to already drunk individuals or minors, so that’s cool I guess. Again, things a responsible and attentive bartender can easily do without lasers or biometrics or medical histories, but kinda cool maybe.
Don’t expect to see this technology buzzing overhead, spilling hot liquid on passersby thanks to an untimely gust of wind any time soon, though. According to Ryan Calo, a University of Washington School of Law drone expert, “It's a combination of technology that is ready for prime time and technology that clearly is not ready for prime time.”
For the time being, we’re going to have to decide for ourselves is we want a coffee and use our own stupid legs to go get one like a bunch of saps.