After patenting technology that could thwart comparison shopping in its own stores last month, Amazon is back with another controversial patent, using its future delivery drones to scan your house, analyze that data, and then recommend services or products you might need.
If the company realizes its ambitions to build a fleet of autonomous delivery drones, those devices would generate vast amounts of data, and Amazon is already contemplating how it could take advantage of it.
You can read the abstract of the patent filing below:
“Techniques are provided for analyzing data obtained while delivering items with unmanned aerial vehicles. For example, instructions may be provided to an unmanned aerial vehicle to deliver an item. The unmanned aerial vehicle may be configured to record data while delivering the item. In embodiments, the captured data may be received by a computer system and properties about a destination for the delivery may be identified by analyzing the data. A recommendation may be generated based at least in part on the identified properties.”
One example the online retail giant gives about how this technology might be applied is a drone determining that a customer’s roof looks faulty and then recommending a roof-repair service.
“For example, the one or more service provider computers may analyze 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).”
Amazon analyzing your house so it can recommend more stuff for you to buy seems like a privacy nightmare, but according to the patent, this would be an opt-in feature that would require the customer’s consent.