Amazon wins patent for flying warehouse to deploy delivery drones

Amazon has plans to use an air blimp as a flying warehouse to launch drones for delivery. The company has been awarded a patent for the flying warehouse which is described as an “airborne fulfillment center”.

The warehouse would float at an altitude of 45,000 and be stocked of products. The products would then be delivered via drone, potentially within minutes. When a customer orders a product, a drone, using little power, would glide down and fly to its destination.

“When the UAV departs the AFC, it may descend from the high altitude of the AFC using little or no power other than to guide the UAV towards its delivery destination and/or to stabilize the UAV as it descends,” the patent filing explains.

The airship would be refueled using a shuttle, so that means it would be constantly airborne.

While the patent may have gone through, getting permission will be complex and may take awhile for approval so we may not be seeing these anytime soon.


Amazon Go a new way to shop, without waiting in a line

Amazon unveiled a grocery store without checkout counters or lines. Amazon Go is a 1800 square foot retail space locatred in Seattle that lets shoppers grab items that they want and walk out with it, while the order gets charged to the shoppers Amazon account afterwards.

Amazon Go uses computer vision and sensors to detect the items that are taken. Shoppers scan an app as they enter the store, sensors identify the items in shoppers carts, and charges for items to the account.

Amazon Go will stock most items found in convenience stores such as snacks, drinks, bread, milk, and more. The store is open in beta to Amazon employees only. A public release is scheduled for early 2017.

Amazon will now truck massive amounts of data to the cloud

Amazon has announced a new service to haul massive amounts of data called AWS Snowmobile. The company is storing hard drives full of data in  a 45-foot-long shipping container, which is transported to an Amazon data center to be transferred to Amazon’s cloud data storage services.

Amazon’s existing Snowball service allows secure 80TB storage. This new services allows the transportation of 100 petabytes (1 million gigabytes) of data. Snowmobile attaches directly to the data center, using network fiber to transfer data, which can transfer 1 terabyte of data per second.

While the data is shipped it is secured. All data is encrypted with AWS Key Management Service keys and Amazon offers dedicated security and a vehicle escort to protect the truck and the massive amounts of data. The containers have GPS tracking and video surveillance with cellular and satellite connectivity.