Walmart files patent for blockchain based delivery management system
Walmart‘s enthusiasm for blockchain technology has been displayed again this month, adding a delivery management system to the list of blockchain developments it hopes will transform the retail industry.
A filing published by the US Patent and Trademark Office describes an application for a patent for “Delivery reservation apparatus and method”, that will adopt blockchain’s distributed ledger technology to enable the reservation of a series of lockers that keep delivered items safe until their purchasers can collect them.
According to the patent filing each space on a so-called “docking station” will be represented by a node in a blockchain network that can be distributed on a public ledger.
“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,” the filing states.
Blockchain development pipeline
Last month, the US retail giant was awarded a patent for the development of an electrical grid powered by bitcoin or rival cryptocurrency and monitored by blockchain ledger for businesses to better manage their energy usage by tracking each electrical device on the network.
Walmart has several blockchain projects in its development pipeline, including those that will help manage its supply chain, and others that don’t necessarily fit with its own business model.
In June, Walmart won a patent for a blockchain ledger system for medical records that would allow emergency call first responders to access patients’ data.