Amazon is the latest tech company to join the April Fool’s Day fun. Unfortunately, their timing is a bit off, and their joke was announced 3 months early.
Reuters reports that Amazon has filed for a patent to use airships to store products and serve as a base for delivery-drones. The patent application was filed two years ago but was spotted only on Wednesday by Zoe Leavitt, an analyst at technology data and research firm CB Insights.
According to the patent filing, drones launched from the so-called “airborne fulfillment centers” (AFCs) would use far less power than those launched from the ground. The AFCs would hover at about 45,000 feet (13,700 meters) and be restocked and resupplied by “shuttles or smaller airships.”
Amazon, which was not immediately available for comment, has laid out plans to start using drones for deliveries next year. Those plans involve Amazon’s existing terrestrial warehouses, rather than some floating Santa’ workshop.
Seriously, folks, this patent simply is not practical and has to be someone’s joke which was then taken seriously by Amazon’s lawyers.
Can’t you just picture a bunch of engineers sitting around, bullshitting the most ridiculous delivery methods, and then coming up with this idea?
I can. The problem with the idea of a warehouse on a zeppelin is that warehouses are made to store as much as possible as cheaply as possible. Like any aircraft, a zeppelin is not cheap. It might be a viable form of transportation, but storage – paying to keep something up in the air indefinitely – is not a plausible use.
image by masaka