One of the largest multinational retail corporations, Walmart, is now looking at a blockchain patent that is titled “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method”. As suggested, this patent would outline a way for managing package reservations in the context where the purchasers are not actually available to receive them.
Based on blockchain, this method focuses on “smart delivery”. As previously reported, the retail giant has so far submitted a number of US patent applications in this specific area – looking at a new technology that will help it automate elements of the delivery process. However, the only serious effort that Walmart has had towards blockchain has been focused on food supply chain tracking.
The new filing looks at blockchain as a way to safeguard the delivered items until their recipients come home and actually sign for them. They would be located at a person’s home, transportation hub or other location – in a locker – and blockchain will connect these lockers in order to track which ones are occupied and which ones are free to be used.
As Walmart wrote in an official statement:
“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.
In some embodiments, the docking stations utilize a blockchain reservation system. As such, each docking station can be a node within a blockchain network.”
This application often refers to a “public ledger” and therefore potentially suggests that the proposed system would be openly accessible to some extent – rather than closed off to certain participants.
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