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Will Wal-Mart Beat Out Amazon?

Amazon and Walmart are making interesting moves as they increase their business with the use of technology. Both companies are looking to patent a drone that would boost home delivery operations and feature a moveable warehouse. Walmart appears to be copying Amazon’s innovation by competing for the patent, especially because Amazon is still trying to open more stores and is overtaking Walmart’s extensive retail customer base.

According to Curbed Seattle, Amazon has patented airborne monitoring stations, tools that aid in the operation of home-delivery drones. These stations will float at a high altitude so they can communicate with the drones they monitor. According to Amazon, the airships are also capable of sending information to household devices, including laptops, phones, tablets, and audio players. In addition, the network can be used to deliver electronic book content to eBook reading devices. Cameras on the drone are able to track the drones using light beacons and other tools for recognition.

A different Amazon patent opens the possibility for drones to capture video inside the homes of users, with their permission. This video capture would allow Amazon to recommend products to people and detect emergency situations. If the drone was connected to a microphone, the system would be able to identify the sound of glass breaking or gunshots and alert emergency services. The Tech Crunch reported Walmart also applied for a similar drone-deploying patent. The purpose of their blimp is to reduce expenses associated with shipping and handling by decreasing the amount of shipping that third-party companies handle. The Walmart blimp would float between 500 and 1,000 feet in the air. 

Amazon has become a strong competition to Walmart by offering the option of fast shipping and cheap products. Although Walmart has an established physical advantage and is a larger retailer than Amazon, the latter is pulling more and more customers away from the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience. What’s more, Amazon recently acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. That means Amazon has a handle on both upscale retail and the online grocery market via their AmazonFresh service.

More than likely, Walmart is going to accept Amazon’s challenge and find new and inventive ways to gain an advantage over Amazon. For example, Walmart is looking to invest in a new drive-through pickup service that would utilize automated machinery. In combination with the company’s drone technology, quick pick-up and selection could give them the boost to edge out Amazon.

On the other hand, Amazon has won the business of millions of people, especially in the younger generation, thanks to their innovation and convenience. The idea of drone delivery is not new and there are companies across the world testing and offering these products. Far too often, individuals think of ideas but assume that patenting your intellectual property is something only done by large companies. In fact, if you have a great new idea, a qualified intellectual property attorney can help you secure it. Don’t let the corporations of the world cash in on your smart invention. Patent your idea with an attorney’s help. 

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