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An Amazon Patent to Use Drone Surveillance at Customer Homes

Would you pay for Amazon to use their drones for surveillance at your home? According to a recently approved patent, US Patent No. 10,313,638, that's exactly what they'd like to do. But, of the many patents filed each year, many simply don't go to market. Though some experts believe this one will and "surveillance as service" will be an actual thing in the future - through Amazon. See what you think. SSI Mag gives us food for thought...

It certainly appears that Amazon’s continued encroachment into the residential security arena is primed to grow by leaps and bounds — block by block — using drones for monitoring home safety.

At least that is what the mega retailer envisions in a recently awarded United States patent that details how “[a]n unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) may perform a surveillance action at a property of an authorized party.”

Originally filed in 2015, the patent explains how Amazon’s UAVs could be employed to spot potential life-safety threats such as fires or even open garage doors, broken windows and the like, prior to alerting property owners.

The company’s patent posits that camera-equipped drones are superior to the security cameras common in residential installations today that are “fixed or may have limited movable range” and therefore are liable to miss “important events” or be manipulated or damaged by an intruder.

The patent was filed two years after the company first unveiled its plans for Prime Air, which included putting drones to work to deliver packages. On June 5, at Amazon’s re:MARS Conference (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) in Las Vegas, the company unveiled its latest Prime Air drone design.

These electric drones fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes. “And, with the help of our world-class fulfillment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months,” explains Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of global consumer, in a blog post.

The security-related patent gives some indications what an actual surveillance service would look like. Customers would pay a subscription fee for visits on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, and drones could be equipped with night vision cameras and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities.

“With a variety of sensors aboard, including a digital camera, a UAV may be deployed to perform secondary tasks that are different than delivering a package to a destination and then returning directly back to an origination location,” the patent states.

No doubt there would be FAA and other regulatory hoops to navigate, but who thinks Amazon couldn’t stage that political ballet successfully?

Continue reading at SSI

LEARN MORE: Read the full Amazon drone surveillance patent here.

FUN FACT: Walmart has filed more drone patents than Amazon!

CHECK IT OUT: 2017 Report by the Center for the Study of the Drone, Amazon's Drone Patents


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