IBM Proposes IoT and Blockchain to Stop Drone Delivery Theft

Ever since Amazon started presenting the idea of a done delivery system, many companies have realized the usefulness of a service like this. However, the biggest problem such a service is likely to face is the malicious intent by other drone users to intercept packages. To deal with this potential problem, IBM has developed technology and patented it combining the use of an IoT sensor with a blockchain to track the location of packages and alert users in case something may be happening with their delivery.

Advanced Security Measures

The system works by including an IoT sensor on the package that records a maximum ‘ceiling’ height. If the height were to change drastically during the package’s transit to its final location, the sensor would update its site to the blockchain along with geographic coordinates and its new location and transit vector. The patent that IBM filed notes that if the company were to build an operational sensor, they would use a secure database instead of a blockchain for the purpose.

Not Yet a Threat

Since the technology is still relatively new, this methodology for dealing with drone theft is ahead of the curve. To date, there haven’t been many reports of theft from drone deliveries, but the patent is a step towards ensuring that a system is in place in case the need arises. Drone delivery systems are autonomous and can operate at any time of the day or night, making them ideal for certain retailers. Several companies, including Walgreens and CVS, have adopted the new technology of drone delivery to increase their competitiveness.

The blockchain was initially included on the patent since IBM estimated the shipper or merchant might need to update locations manually. Additionally, the drone’s updates can be added alongside a timestamp, allowing the buyer to track their package to their door.