With today’s need to protect and store as many data as possible without utilizing physical space, cloud saving of files has become the way to go.
Google now has a Google Cloud. Apple has iCloud. Yahoo has Dropbox. And Microsoft has Microsoft Cloud.
However, in the case of American online retail giant, Amazon, it simply cannot store its retail products on the technical cloud that people know today. But Amazon seems intent on making the literal meaning of it come true by planning to have a warehouse up in the clouds in the future.
This scenario became a possibility when Amazon recently applied for a patent for a flying warehouse.
Accordingly, Amazon plans to deploy air fulfillment centers or AFCs that would each act as sort of flying warehouse from which drones could deliver goods to customers, reports Futurism.
Apparently, the American online retail giant is seriously looking into the skies in order to ensure that it gets to serve its clients well in the future.
However, some critics and skeptics believe that the idea may not materialize but they nonetheless admit that it offers an exciting look into the future of retail and how drones could completely disrupt the way the retail industry currently operates.
A drone-powered distribution plan
Amazon’s patent gives a preview into the retail giant’s future drone-powered distribution plan, which includes an airship full of merchandise. It is cloud storage in the literal sense of the words.
The online retail giant has been extremely interested in deliveries carried out by drones, but its latest plans uncover just how far ahead Amazon is looking to see its vision through.
The air fulfillment centers would hover over areas where demand is expected to increase for certain products at a certain time.
For example, during a sporting event, they might hover above the stadium while stocked with snacks or team merchandise. Upon receiving an online order, smaller drones aboard the AFC would fly down to the stadium and deploy the demanded goods to the customers for a quick and convenient delivery.
The AFC might even descend from time to time to flash a video or blare out an audio advertisement.
Simple but complex
Though it seems relatively simple, the whole process actually involves a complex web of people and aircraft.
Amazon’s patent mentions additional auxiliary aerial shuttles that occasionally restock the AFCs, as well as bring the drones back up, as the company wants to save their power for deliveries.
Also brought up in the patent was the idea of the drones and shuttles talking to each other, communicating crucial information like atmospheric conditions and quickest routes.
Though the idea of receiving a product just minutes after ordering it online, even when a person is not at home, is thoroughly exciting, critics are still saying that people should temper their expectations.
Reports also have it that Amazon has already been granted a patent for its airborne fulfillment center, an aircraft that appears to be a giant mothership for retail products, and the company’s new drone delivery system, details The Embry-Riddle Newsroom.
The patent was reportedly granted to Amazon as early as April last year and it calls for a floating command center delivering goods from eight and a half miles above the ground.
Orders could be received and delivered from the airborne command center within minutes. The filing of Amazon for patent also explained that the blimp would remain in the air and be refueled and replenished using a shuttle.
Given that the airborne fulfillment centers involve a considerable number of things flying around, Amazon has quite a few regulatory obstacles to overcome before it can put the plan into action.