The uses of blockchain technology has far exceeded the initial expectations of the cryptocurrency sector. The technology is now being pursued by a range of industry segments including the supermarket and retail chains. Walmart, a leading US retail giant, has in its pursuit of blockchain technology based solutions recently filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent application filed by Walmart is concerned with the usage of distributed ledger technology solutions for “delivery management system” involving drones, robotics and an array of sensors, reports a leading business news publication.
Laut der Meldung, the patent application titled “Unmanned aerial delivery to secure location” describes the use of drones and blockchain technology for tracking and authentication of automated consignment deliveries. The solution leverages on blockchain’s immutable nature to ensure that each package is delivered to the right address/delivery box belonging to the intended recipient. A hypothetical scenario listed by the application involves a drone, carrying the consignment approaching a delivery box. Once it is near the box, the drone authenticates itself with a blockchain identifier (which may be in the form of a cryptotoken transaction from the wallet associated with the drone to that belonging to the delivery box. If the code transmitted by the drone is validated, then the box opens to accept the consignment, following which a message will be sent to the recipient’s email or mobile device confirming receipt of the package.
The technology can be extended a step further to track consignments throughout the supply/delivery chain, maintaining detailed records of every activity associated with each shipment. The technology and its application presented in Walmart’s patent application is capable of solving a critical problem faced by various e-commerce retailers concerning automation of last mile delivery of goods and supplies. If Walmart successfully implements the drone-based delivery model, powered by blockchain technology, then it can potentially gain a competitive edge over major players like Amazon.
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