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Walmart Files Patent for Blockchain-Based Drone System

ByThomas Glare

Walmart Files Patent for Blockchain-Based Drone System

Recently the massive giant Walmart submitted a patent for a blockchain drone communication system. The Walmart distribution system is getting a revamp! This patent, which was filed in accordance with the USA Trademark Office on August 1st, describes a drone system that encrypts the operational parameters of drones and stores this data. All of this information is passed from drone to drone, each new one decrypting, reading and configuring to the parameters.

In a nutshell, the Walmart computer system would facilitate communication between vehicles, relaying messages and allowing machines to be aware of each other. If successful, this technology will certainly affect Walmart shares price.

Walmart Blockchain patents

Patenting by Walmart has been going on for some time, since at least 2017. Applications for patents were filed with the USPTO in as early as May in 2017. These applications that were filed were for a series of unmanned aerial delivery methods that deliver Walmart stock to secure locations. 

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Only recently, Walmart partnered with IBM and the FDA to track pharma shipments using blockchain technology. This retail magnate has made plans for a cryptocurrency of its own, having submitted a further patent for its own digital cryptocurrency based around blockchain earlier this year.

IBM and their aims

A lot of today’s supply chains become bogged down in manual processes, making it very difficult and taking a lot of time to track down issues. One need only remember the E. coli problem from contaminated lettuce heads last year – where did they come from? By using blockchain, one can shed light on supply processes, making everything fully digitized and transparent. Every node that exists on the blockchain would represent some aspect of food handling as food makes its way through the supply chain. As a result, one can easily see if an infection is coming from a particular supplier, and the problem can be solved.

IBM and Walmart have worked on close terms over the past year on their blockchain tech to digitize the supply side. It is going to be one of the first cases of this happening anywhere in the world. The tech that IBM Walmart blockchain has developed, Food Trust Solution, is really one of a kind.

Without this technology, Walmart manages to trace sources of food, yet it takes about a week to do this. Blockchain can significantly reduce their time to just over 2 seconds. This substantially reduces any likelihood that infections will reach customers.

There may be a couple of supply chain issues such as getting suppliers to upload their info onto the blockchain itself. This could prove somewhat confusing at first, especially for farmers that aren’t tech-savvy. It is unlikely that suppliers will need to become tech experts; however, one can anticipate some problems relating to this. In short, suppliers will need to learn new skills about how to upload their data and what this entails we’re not sure just yet.

However, IBM will create an onboarding system that allows users to orient themselves with the service in an easy way. They will make it as simple as possible to understand, plus they will let people get things up and running very quickly. One could expect perhaps some sort of smart device that is paired up with a WIFI connection to activate and store data. Only the future will tell. 

After spending time working on these issues for over a year’s time, Walmart really thinks that they’re ready for full implementation of blockchain with an ultimate goal of making sure that food is sold safely at Walmart. If there are any problems, then these can be foreseen very quickly and efficiently. They believe that their customers deserve access to this transparency and that this technology is smart, benefitting all stakeholders.

Walmart shares its supply info – what do you think

This technology is undoubtedly going to be game-changing, but how do you think it will fare for consumers and the people of Walmart? Will it affect Walmart shares significantly in the future? It could be exciting and useful for consumers, especially when safety is concerned. There are all sorts of applications to blockchain technology, and it seems that this may pave the path for a whole lot more. It’s an exciting time to be alive!

Have you ever shopped at Walmart? How do you think this technology will affect you? We’d love to hear more. Please send us your comments below.

About the author

Thomas Glare contributor

Thomas Glare is a self-confessed tech nerd. He majored in Computer Science at Leicester University before going on to work at software industry companies. Thomas likes to write articles on a freelance basis. He works as a freelance copywriter, writing pieces on many topics.

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