Amazon's fulfillment centers of tomorrow look like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie.
The online retail giant has filed a patent application for a "multi-level fulfillment center" - and it basically looks like a massive cylindrical tower filled with docking bays. No, it doesn't expect delivery trucks to get up to the 100th floor in order to stock up and ship out your packages. It's designed this tower specifically for drones.
With a drone tower, Amazon's Prime Air drones could fly in and out easily and deliver packages in urban areas. Amazon said there's a "growing need and desire to locate fulfillment centers within cities, such as in downtown districts and densely populated parts of the cities," according to the USPTO application, published on 22 June.
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The vertical building would save space, unlike traditional fulfillment centers, which look more like wide warehouses and take up land. And it would be jam-packed with drones. Obviously, there's no guarantee this drone tower will become a reality, but it's interesting to look into the future and see what Amazon has in mind.
In March, Amazon Prime Air flew its first package to the public in the US. So it's only a matter of time before the company starts flooding our skies with its unmanned aerial vehicles. We can picture it now: It's 2037 and the Earth is being plagued by resource wars, rising temps, and artificial intelligence-caused mass poverty.
But have no fear. Amazon is here, in your city, making sure you get that Snuggie delivered via drone in under hour.