Jeff Bezos, Marcelo Leal, and Osman Nahid created Amazon in 1994. The company operates in e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. The United States Patent and Trademark Office receives dozens of patent applications from Amazon each year.
Many of them depict Amazon’s delivery service as being futuristic, with concepts like an undersea facility and a drone chute that resembles an accordion. These patents have the potential to transform Amazon and the more than 200 billion parcels that are anticipated to be delivered this decade.
A special note to the readers: Globally, Amazon has around 24355 patents, out of which about 12104 are distinct patent families. In total, 11313 of the 24355 patents are still in force.
Here are some notable patents applied by Amazon that are meant for use in robotics, machine learning, AR and much more.
A set of augmented reality spectacles patented by Amazon could be used to monitor its staff. The phrase “Augmented Reality User interface promoting completion” appears in the patent. According to the patent application, it is meant for a wearable computing device, such as on-the-head augmented reality glasses. The user interface is displayed on one or more lenses of the AR glasses and aids in directing workers in Amazon’s fulfilment centres as to where to position various items. The AR glasses also have a feature that gives employees step-by-step directions to a specific location inside the fulfilment centre. As a result, they may find their destination with ease because all pertinent information is presented on the lenses.
TAgain in 2018, Amazon was awarded a patent for “Robotic discarding of products in inventory system.” The patent application describes that inventory items can be thrown by robotic arms or manipulators inside the system. Tossing techniques for the robotic arms include information about how a gripped object is to be operated and released by a robotic arm to achieve a trajectory for delivering the object to a receiving position.
Amazon submitted a patent application for a “multi-level fulfilment centre for unmanned aerial vehicles” in June 2017. The idea’s foundation is a sizable tower with numerous floors and ports that permit drones to enter and exit while carrying packages for customers.
Truck drivers would deliver the packages to the tower, which would be constructed in an urban region where the majority of Amazon’s customers reside. Amazon was given approval by the Federal Aviation Administration to start using drones for delivery in 2020.
An “aerial fulfilment centre” was described by Amazon in a patent from 2014, which stated that this was perhaps an airship that would be stationed at a high altitude, for instance, 45,000 feet. Unmanned aerial vehicles would carry orders from the AFC to dispatch them to the users’ delivery locations. A centralised aerial warehouse could be the solution to the problem of drones using a lot of energy to fly, especially over the distances necessary for Amazon deliveries. It might also be applied to marketing.
Direct delivery to homes and business offices would be possible if there were a system of underground tunnels. Amazon is looking into other options, including underground operations, even though many of its patents are about airborne operations. It applied for a patent in 2016 to establish a system of underground tunnels beneath buildings, enabling direct distribution to homes and business locations. This means moving packages on conveyor belts and vacuum tubes, which would connect the warehouse to the distribution locations.
In June 2018, Amazon was awarded a patent for an audio system application called “Accent translation” that will help translate the speaker’s accent to the listener’s accent. This programme aims to eliminate any communication hurdles that may result from various dialects, as they can occasionally be challenging to comprehend. The accent translation system gathers a variety of audio samples from various media, including phone calls, broadcasts, television, movies, and more. Each audio sample will be connected to at least one set of accent sample sets that are stored in the database. For instance, the German accent sample set will be connected to the German accent. In dual-party discussions, the audio acquired is examined, and if it matches one of the many saved accents, the audio from both sides is produced according to the accent of the other party. This programme has countless potential uses. One prominent application is in the customer service sector, where individuals frequently interact with individuals who have varied accents.
Amazon filed a patent for a drone earlier in 2016 called “Human interaction with unmanned aerial vehicles” that would utilise voice instructions and gestures to deliver packages. The propulsion system used by the Amazon Drone aids in controlling the drone’s speed, trajectory, and orientation.
A drone would be used that is manned by a propulsion device, an overall management system and a sensing device. The behaviour of the vehicle can be adjusted by the propulsion, as it responds to the commands issued by the management system, which, in turn, is set up to detect human motions via the attached sensor.