We've been keeping a close eye on , the online retailer's ambitious plan to deliver packages by drone, and we just learned more about the scheme courtesy of .
The patent shows “airborne fulfilment centers”, which are essentially Amazon warehouses in the sky, hovering above us at around 45,000 feet. The idea is drones can swoop down and back up with in-demand goods.
One of the key advantages of Amazon's futuristic cloud warehouses are that it makes it less likely your delivery drone is going to get shot out of the sky or tangled up in trees as it makes its outward and return journeys.
, the centers would be stocked up with specific inventory and flown to areas where high demand was anticipated – around big cities, for example, or near sporting events to deliver snacks and souvenirs.
Jeff Bezos and his team would need a complex software system to keep track of all this and ensure your items were delivered on time, but the drones themselves would be able to form a mesh network, sharing information about weather conditions and routes.
Bear in mind though that the usual caveats about patents apply – they're only a sign of what companies are considering, and we may never actually see an Amazon zeppelin take to the skies. If it means faster deliveries, we're all for it.