Amazon has been working on delivery drones, to help deliver packages to customers. The delivery drones have not yet been put to service, but the company is already brainstorming about other ways to use them other than deliveries. Amazon has been tinkering with the idea of security drones as well. They would offer “surveillance as a service.” Amazon has already received a patent that shows how their drones could keep watch on customers property between deliveries, while still keeping their customers’ privacy intact.
After filing the patent in June 2015, Amazon was granted it recently and it went public this past month. The patent outlines how drones would be looking out for suspicious behavior like garage doors opening, broken windows, graffiti, etc.
Drones have been used in military for surveillance but not for home security yet. Companies have been trying to explore drone home security more now. It is uncommon to have delivery drones, that are still very new and young, to do surveillance as well though.
Amazon’s new drone has not yet been granted approval from the FAA to make deliveries in the US. Amazon hopes to launch them in a few months.
The patent explains a little bit about how the drones would work. Customers could pay for hourly, daily, or weekly visits. The drones would have night vision cameras and microphones to make them more efficient as possible.
One concern that has been highlighted with these surveillance drones is privacy invasion for the Amazon customers who haven’t given permission to view their homes. The patent addresses this concern. It explains who geo-fencing technology would stop drones from capturing footage of homes that they are not supposed to. Captured images can be edited or limited by “physically constraining a sensor of the UAV.”
Although Amazon received the patent of the drones, it doesn’t mean this new technology will ever go public. In the past Amazon has created many types of technology that never made it out into the market. We will just have to wait and see.