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Amazon patents messaging system for drones

Drone signal system
A diagram shows a drone projecting squares of light labeled “Yes” or “No.” Depending on which box the package recipient stands in, the drone could determine whether or not to leave a package in the drop zone designated as DZ. (Amazon Illustration via USPTO)

For an earlier generation, one of the sweetest sounds of summer was the music coming from an ice-cream truck. For the next generation, will it be the tune of a delivery drone?

That’s just one of the possibilities covered in a patent issued to Amazon today: It addresses methods by which a drone could signal its approach, as well as techniques for signaling back.

The application was filed by a group of Seattle-area inventors on Amazon’s behalf almost two years ago.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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