Amazon, the eCommerce giant in the U.S., has received a patent for a shipping label that can be embedded in a parachute so that packages can land softly when they are dropped by a drone or other aircraft.
According to a report looking at the patent, which was issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the label may look and act like any old shipping label but underneath the label would be a system which could include a cover that breaks off and a harness to keep the package in place. In theory, the package could have embedded sensors that ensure it lands in the right place and absorbs the shock of landing.
The report noted that based on the images in the patent filing, the parachute labels could be attached to every package that leaves Amazon and removed if a ground-based delivery method is being used rather than an airborne delivery system. The parachute package labels could also include QR codes, bar codes, the delivery address and coupons, among other things.
This isn’t Amazon’s first patent focusing on new delivery methods or advancing the way existing things are done. The company has long been testing drones and has been at the forefront of technology aimed at getting packages to customers in as fast and as efficient of a manner that it can.
In April, Amazon announced it won a patent for a manufacturing system that produces clothes on-demand after an order is made. Through its digital production of clothing, Amazon will have the capability to cut and assemble fabrics via textile printers and alter clothes via camera images. While the inventors of this patent have made clear this system could move into making other items like footwear or curtains, the current focus is on the clothing industry.
This on-demand clothing manufacturing system has the possibility of turning the fashion production industry on its head. Rather than producing large quantities of the same piece of clothing, retailers would have the potential to produce only what is requested by consumers.