Companies shipping packages via drone is a controversial subject. As of now, many are worried about their privacy, as well as drones getting shot out of the sky, or followed by thieves. While no company is delivering a package via drone just yet, IBM is already planning for if such a policy becomes legal in the future.
A recent filing via the United States Patent and Trademark Office notes that IBM is planning to patent a new method that will allow them to protect drone packages from theft using the Internet of Things, while then uploading that information via a blockchain network.
The patent abstract reads this:
“Methods and systems for tracking objects are provided. A method includes: accessing, by a tracking server, a secure database that stores data about an object of personal property; determining, by the tracking server and from the data about the object, that a tracking state of the object is set to ON; obtaining, by the tracking server and in response to the determining, altitude data from an altitude sensor of an Internet of Things (IoT) device associated with the object; comparing, by the tracking server, the altitude data to a predefined criteria; and repeating, by the tracking server, the obtaining and the comparing until one of: the altitude data satisfies the predefined criteria, or the tracking state of the object is set to OFF.”
The idea behind automated delivery isn’t anything new. After all, there are some blockchain projects that look to tie shipping networks from across the world together, utilizing the internet of things to allow vehicles like ships and cars to communicate with one another. IBM is just looking to get ahead of things here should they ever take off.