Speed Reads

The future is (almost) now

Amazon patents floating drone warehouses

Amazon is already actively experimenting with drone deliveries, and the company is apparently eyeing a futuristic next step: giant airborne warehouses.

Amazon patented the plans for the floating warehouses, hinting at giant aspirations for the company's fledgling drone delivery program. The patent describes an "airborne fulfillment center utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles for item delivery," with the intent of being a kind of "mothership" for a fleet of drones.

According to the plans, the warehouses would hover at heights of 45,000 feet: "Additional, smaller airships would be used to return the drones back to the [airborne fulfillment center], resupply the mothership with more inventory and fuel, and shuttle workers to the flying factory," The Verge writes.

For the time being, the plans remain in a patent stage without a timeline for rollout.