Saturday 22 June 2019

Amazon may bring surveillance services with delivery drones

Amazon may bring surveillance services with delivery dronesSAN FRANCISCO: Taking its ambition of executing drone-based deliveries a notch higher, Amazon is now planning to offer "surveillance as a service" coupled with its futuristic unmanned aerial product delivery idea.

Overcoming another hurdle before achieving its target, the e-commerce giant recently won a patent to construct a drone that would be capable of performing surveillance and property imagery as a "secondary task" after executing package deliveries, Quartz reported on Thursday.

The company thinks that a user may want to "subscribe to a surveillance system to provide surveillance as a service," a riff on the established "software as a service" category.

In its patent Amazon suggests that the drone-based surveillance would be superior to traditional video-camera installations that have limited range, are liable to miss things and can be manipulated or damaged by an intruder.

Earlier in June, Amazon consumer chief Jeff Wilke had mentioned that the company could start using its Prime Air drone to deliver packages to customers within the next few months and this patent seems to be in line with the company's vision.

The current surveillance capabilities offered by Amazon are already quite extensive.

In February 2018, Amazon paid over $1 billion for Ring, the maker of a "smart doorbell" that sends a video feed customers can check and answer from their smartphone.

Three months after that deal, Amazon launched "Neighbors" as a crime reporting social network that encourages users to upload videos straight from their Ring security cameras and tag posts with labels like "Crime," "Safety," and "Suspicious."

In addition, the company also offers Amazon Key, a service that lets Prime members have packages delivered straight into their homes if they install its smart lock on their door and Amazon security cameras inside their homes.

However, the company is often under scrutiny on charges of non-consensual and illegal user data collection.

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