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Samsung accelerates preparations for drone business with US patents

Smartphone giant Samsung Electronics is increasing its research and development efforts on drones by applying for multiple patents in the United States, according to the industry on Friday.

Samsung was issued a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday on a new design of a drone the company is assumed to be developing.
A design of a possible drone by Samsung Electronics (USPTO)
A design of a possible drone by Samsung Electronics (USPTO)

The patent, which was filed in January 2017, shows an ornamental design for a drone that resembles a helicopter and has four propellers.

Samsung won another patent on Feb. 13 from the USPTO, for a drone with a display that can be controlled by a user’s face and eyes. This patent, if commercialized, is expected to be used in flying drones which will not need existing controlling devices.

Samsung has filed various patents related to drones in Korea and the US since 2016 as part of efforts to start a new business linked to the “fourth industrial revolution.”

“The patents are part of R&D works taking place for future businesses,” a Samsung official said. “Drones can be part of new services that might be available by the fifth-generation network.”

“But it is too early to say we are going to launch a new drone product or a business soon in the near term,” he said.

Samsung NEXT, an investment fund for startups based in Silicon Valley, is leading such R&D efforts on businesses like drones, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and autonomous driving.

Samsung NEXT is reportedly showing interest in drone-related startups, according to the industry.

Global tech firms Apple, Google, Amazon and Huawei are preparing for drones, too, as a means to expand connectivity from handheld devices to other areas.

By Song Su-hyun (