A video of what appears to be an Amazon "mothership" deploying out drones has quickly spread across social media this week, gaining millions of views in the process.
For many, it’s a frightening symbol of a dystopian future. In fact, one viral tweet showcasing the giant blimp video chose “borderline dystopian” as the exact description of it.
Is this massive Amazon drone mothership real?
No, we can Verify this video was created with computer-generated graphics. However, the patent for this sort of technology does exist.
WHAT WE FOUND
The original video was posted by a Japanese artist shortly after April Fools' Day began in Japan.
While the floating behemoth in the video isn’t real, there is a lot of truth that went behind the creation of this video.
The design of the aircraft itself is inspired by a real Lockheed Martin product called the Hybrid Airship.
On its website, Lockheed Martin explains the main selling point of the Hybrid Airship is its capabilities to transport heavy cargo to remote locations without roads.
While it's not commercially available at this time, the company claims they have completed all required FAA certification planning steps and are ready to begin construction of the first commercial model of the Hybrid Airship and complete the FAA certification process.
The usage of Amazon in the video was inspired by reality, as well.
Amazon filed a patent in late 2014 for an “airborne fulfillment center (AFC) and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to deliver items from the AFC to users.”
Essentially that patent, which was approved in April of 2016, is for an airborne warehouse that uses drones for deliveries.
Within the patent, it’s proposed an AFC could fly above a metropolitan area or above an event like a football game. It’s also proposed that the drones may have to return to a ground facility after making the delivery because the high altitude of the AFC may make the drones’ return to the ship unfeasible.
It’s important to note that these are just proposals and theory-crafting -- Amazon has not built anything like this yet. There’s a possibility they never actually make this a reality. However, there is also a possibility that it does become real eventually, if not in the near future.
So the final tally? The video itself depicts a computer-generated airship. The ship is inspired by a real product Lockheed Martin is close to making available and the usage of Amazon and the drones is a reference to a real patent filed by Amazon.
Therefore, while the video is making references to things that could exist in reality, the video itself is not real footage.
While the aircraft in the video might not be an example of society’s technological advancements, the video itself should be. It looks pretty realistic for a digital creation.