Giant Blimp to Show Ads, TV in the Sky

In the Scary But True department, we have the Air Genie, a big old-fashioned blimp that would be covered with millions of LEDs that could spell out giant ads in the sky.

The blimp’s surface would have 30 videocameras, enabling it to not only record what it sees but also show it. Imagine seeing one of these at the Super Bowl. You’d see the latest Pepsi commercial and then see the crowd’s reaction to the ad.

Tom Shannon, a designer known for his out-of-this-world art, has been granted a patent for the Air Genie, which would have 61.5 million LEDs, to be exact. It could also land itself on the ground, using its retractable landing legs and motorized wheels.

It probably goes without saying that this big blimp would have radar, GPS, satellite transceivers, and 3D TV and audio broadcasting functionality, but we’ll say it anyway. The specs also call for strobe lights, lasers, search beacons, a cloud maker, and all kinds of other fun things. We could even see the Air Genie turning itself into the world’s largest disco ball.

For the record, the Air Genie is projected to have a diameter of 115 feet and a surface area of more than 41,000 square feet. It wouldn’t top 20 mph but would run on new-age fuels like hydrogen and different kinds of oil.

Whether this idea ever sees the light of day probably depends on Shannon’s ability to find big financial backers.


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