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Drone home: How Amazon’s delivery drones could sell you services

Hot off the back of Amazon’s recent filed patent for beehive-like drone depots which would be used to dispatch deliveries, the retail giant has announced that the drones could analyse customers’ homes and try and sell them services and products based on collected data from onboard cameras.

Trials have already begun for the ambitious plans of a fleet of delivery drones, known as ‘Prime Air’ service, with small products flown to customers in under 30 minutes.

And Amazon hopes to collect and use the data to its advantage, filing a patent that explains how the online-retail giant hopes “captured data may be received by a computer system and properties about a destination for the delivery may be identified by analysing the data. A recommendation may be generated based at least in part on the identified properties”.

Explaining in more detail, Amazon relates how a drone could assist a customer if the onboard camera noticed that the client’s roof needed fixing:

“For example, the one or more service provider computers may analyse the data and identify that the roof of the location is in disrepair and in need of service. Subsequently, the one or more service provider computers may generate and provide a recommendation to the customer informing them of the identified property and offering an item or service that is appropriate for the identified property (e.g., a roof repair service recommendation).”

The patent explains how customers could receive these recommendations in a variety of ways, such as email, text or Amazon notification.

However, privacy laws would mean that the service would be opt-in, with the patent explaining it would only capture and analyse this data with customer consent.

Amazon’s delivery drone dream are still a long way from commercial reality, with testing in the UK and early trials suggesting it will be years before Prime Air service becomes commercially viable.