It may sound like a futuristic shopping experience, but sooner than you might imagine, Amazon deliveries could make it to your door just minutes after you hit the “buy” button thanks to warehouses in the sky.
So-called “aerial fulfillment centers,” could be located in the air above metropolitan areas, and drones within these warehouses could grab packages and bring them down to earth and to your door, according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The sky warehouses could also be replenished with inventory and human workers while remaining in the air, according to the patent filing.Credit: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
While the patent doesn’t address how the Federal Aviation Administration would regulate these aerial warehouses, it could potentially bolster Amazon’s Prime Now service, which currently promises delivery within two hours or less.
It’s also unclear how much money Amazon users would have to pay up for this kind of service. But we imagine it’ll be well beyond the $10.99 per month or $99 per year that Amazon currently charges for Prime membership, which offers free two-day shipping for many items and same-day shipping for customers in certain areas of the country.
While aerial warehouses and drone deliveries could be a real convenience for some, we’d like to see a delivery drone ring a doorbell and fly up the stairs of a four-story walk-up apartment.