June 2017. On 30 May, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Amazon a patent for a shipping label with an in-built parachute, giving the retail giant exclusive rights to an easier method for delivering packages to its customers.
Amazon had been testing package delivery drones for some time, but the parachute variant could be a more interesting departure given that it’s much more energy-efficient than the effort of taking off and landing.
Maybe shipping labels with in-built parachutes will soon enable packages to make a soft landing on your doorstep. ‘The system can comprise a label that includes a parachute to enable the packages to be dropped from the aerial vehicle, yet land at the package’s destination without damage’, the description says.
Is it a…?
So if one day you see something flying overhead, it could be a parachute carrying your brand-new iPad, a packet of diapers or the vacuum cleaner you recently ordered.