Yet another blockchain-focused delivery patent could be coming down the pike.
One of the largest retail giants in the world, Walmart, announces that its latest blockchain-focused patent application details a delivery management system that is solid and secure.
While filed in October of 2017, the application which is titled “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method” was just published on July 5th by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is said to be a management system that focuses on delivery lockers that can keep products and other items secure until their recipients are able to pick them up. This is all done using blockchain technology.
Blockchain fits into the overall scope of the delivery locker idea as a way to connect lockers so they can track which ones are free for storing packages and which ones are filled with mail.
Walmart wrote in the filing, “Each space on the docking station has a corresponding capacity unit for each location on the docking station. The transactions for the capacity units are tracked in a ledger, with available capacity units indicating an open location on the docking station or contracted out capacity units indicating that either the location has a locker secured thereto or that the location is reserved for a future delivery.” Walmart’s statement continues, “In some embodiments, the docking stations utilize a blockchain reservation system. As such, each docking station can be a node within a blockchain network.”
Besides the number one goal which is security, Walmart suggested that the blockchain-based system could also do wonder to increase the loyalty of customers as it will provide “significant convenience” when compared to other forms of delivery. Additionally, the automated nature of the solution is expected to cut down on costs, meaning delivery drivers will have few deliveries.
Walmart cited demand from customers to provide increased security when it comes to shipping goods.
“Many customers shop online for various reasons including ease of shopping, comfort of shopping, to save time and any number of other reasons that customers may have for shopping online. These online customers many times seek to purchase items that may require a controlled environment and further seek to have greater security in the shipping packaging that the items are shipped in. Current shipping packaging does not provide for such desired functionality.”