Amazon is never one to miss an opportunity for new revenue streams, so while the company continues to develop automated drones for Prime Air order deliveries, it's also thinking about what else they could do during the flight to your home. A new patent granted to Amazon this week reveals one potentially profitable extra function: assessing your house and seeing if any repairs are needed.
The patent, entitled "Trigger agents in video streams for drones," was spotted by Business Insider. It describes the drone being able to scan and capture data about a destination. That data is then received by a remote computer system and analyzed to identify its characteristics.
Why would Amazon want to do that? Because it opens the door to a new type of recommendation system, which in turn means the potential for a new revenue stream. For example, the data the drone captures could highlight a roof repair is needed, or your trees are overgrown or dying and suggest an appropriate fix/service. Maybe your garden looks like it needs some love, so Amazon will start recommending garden tools and accessories.
Anyone concerned about privacy will be glad to hear Amazon views this as an opt-in service. So you can choose to have your home scanned by the drone, and if you do, expect a review to arrive via email, text message or through an Amazon account notification along with some purchase options.
Whether this feature ends up being a core part of the drone delivery process is a secondary concern for consumers as well as Amazon. Right now, the focus is on actually getting the drones approved so they are allowed to fly and deliver packages. Only once that's up and running should we expect additional services to start being offered.