1. Delivery blimp
If you thought drone delivery was incredible, Amazon aims to take things a step further. The company has been awarded a patent for an “airborne fulfillment center” -- basically a blimp -- that will deploy drones to deliver packages to your door or even right in your hands at events such as football and soccer games. This airborne launching pad may help make for more effective drone deliveries because drones will be gliding rather than taking off and landing. They will also serve as drone charging stations between deliveries.
2. Search drone
In October 2016, the company patented a miniature, voice-controlled "unmanned aerial vehicle assistant" (essentially, a drone) that can help locate a lost child in a crowd. The patent says that the drone responds to voice commands such as “find Timmy,” which will trigger it to search for a lost child. On top of helping find lost children, the drone has a number of other uses, such as a hover command, which is said to help traffic cops record a vehicle’s make and model.
3. Underground deliveries
Amazon is not only looking to deliver in the air. The company filed a patent for an underground network of tunnels, conveyor belts and vacuum tubes to transport and deliver parcels and containers. The new system would increase delivery efficiencies and reduce road traffic, according to the patent.
4. Photos of products on white backgrounds
This one’s crazy because it’s so generic. In 2014, Amazon was awarded a patent to take photos of products in front of a white background. Although there was much uproar in the photography community about the trademark of such a basic technique, a closer look at the patent found that it involved certain lighting, setup and camera equipment.
5. Beehive-like drone delivery tower
To deliver packages in urban areas by drone, Amazon received a patent for beehive-like towers where packages can be stored, sorted and shipped out. The company envisions skyscraper buildings, where at the base delivery trucks can pick up and drop off items, and throughout the rest of the building are landing and take-off areas for drones.
6. Underwater storage facilities
Why store items on land when you can store them underwater? That’s what Amazon’s most recent thoughts are. A patent labeled “Aquatic Storage Facility” outlines a new method for storing items “in a body of liquid.” A cartridge is attached to each stored product, which can then be used to retrieve and send items to and from the storage facility.