Amazon Patents ‘Surveillance-as-a-Service’ Via Drone


To offer “surveillance as a service,” Amazon earned a U.S. patent for an “unmanned aerial vehicle.” It was granted on June 4 after its filing approximately four years ago on June 12, 2015, Quartz reported.

An “unmanned aerial vehicle” is drone’s technical terminology, according to the report. It “may perform a surveillance action at a property of an authorized party” as well as “image the property to generate surveillance images.” The eCommerce retailer reportedly suggested in the patent that surveillance using drone technology could be better than video-camera installations that can be tampered with or miss things.

According to the patent, per reports, surveillance would come as a “secondary task” following the deliveries of parcels. The company indicates that a user may have the desire to “subscribe to a surveillance system to provide surveillance as a service.” The news comes after the retailer paid over $1 billion for smart doorbell maker Ring in 2018. And it rolled out a social network for the reporting of crimes called Neighbors that aims to have users upload videos as well as tag posts with labels such as “safety,” “suspicious” and “crime.”

In other recent Amazon drone news, the eCommerce retailer announced earlier in June that it’s going to have a drone delivery service within months. The announcement was reportedly made by Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke on June 5 at the company’s Las Vegas “re:MARS” conference. The drone will reportedly have the ability to lift off as well as land like a helicopter and it’s said to be more stable than Amazon drone models in the past.

At the same time, it was noted that the drones can see objects in motion around it better than the human eye. And, while Wilke didn’t reportedly specify where the drones will be deployed, Amazon has delivered by drone in the U.K. in the past. Amazon’s drone delivery initiative is not new and the retailer has reportedly discussed it for many years.


Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The July 2019 Pay Advances: The Gig Economy’s New Normal, a PYMNTS and Mastercard collaboration, examines pay advances – full or partial payments received before an ad hoc job is completed – including how gig workers currently use them and their potential for future adoption.


To Top