Just as we adjusted to drones in the sky
If you thought drone delivery was pushing the limits, Amazon has also secured a patent for airborne fulfillment centers. You read that correctly. Soon, your future Amazon purchases could be hovering right above you.
As Amazon continues to expand, they have been researching alternative methods to store their ever-growing inventory. They already have hundreds of warehouses aka “fulfillment centers” around the world, but now they are taking to the sky.
It was recently uncovered that Amazon applied for a patent in 2014 for both “airborne fulfillment centers (AFC)” and the “use of unmanned aerial vehicles.” In other words, we may experience an Amazon store in the sky in the near future.
So it’s a series of blimps…
The diagrams for the future airborne facility look very similar to a blimp. There is plenty of storage space inside that can be used to stock frequently purchased items such as books, video games and electronics. The facility, which would hover around 45,000 feet above ground, would also be accompanied by drone delivery to the customers below.
Amazon even imagines employees shuttling to and from the facility to restock items and make repairs when needed.
Besides extra storage, there is more potential for the future airborne facility. According to the patent, Amazon can use the AFC for promotional purposes like advertising new items. They can also fulfill large orders for big events like concerts or at a sports game.
When will the skies be blimp-filled?
However, a patent does not necessarily mean that flying Amazon warehouses will start filling up the sky. The company has been exploring the use of flight for a means of delivery for some time now.
They recently completed their first drone delivery in Cambridge, England and have no plans of slowing down. Airborne fulfillment centers are another way for them to push the boundaries and continue their innovative path towards fast and convenient delivery.