Amazon file a Patent that Captures Packaging on Camera

Amazon have filed an interesting patent that will see cameras setup in their warehouses capturing images of every product packaged. The patent number applied is 7,689,465 which details a camera system filming boxes as they get contents packed in them ready for shipping. It might sound like an odd patent but it has a number of benefits for the company and customer in that a visual record will be kept of what items were packed and what the condition of the packaging was. If something should go missing in transit then Amazon will have proof that it was boxed up correctly. Likewise, if Amazon miss adding something to a box then it will more easily aid Amazon in finding where the problem was if it was at their end.

Video clips captured also have the ability to be emailed to the customer so they can see their item being packed and what the box looks like etc… As well as showing this information to the customer, advertising companies might also be able to check out the video feeds to confirm if Amazon are indeed including their adverts within the packaging.

Information captured on camera is believed to just see the hands of the person packing the boxes and not reveal a persons face for privacy reasons.

That finger pointing can be extended to Amazon’s own staff as well, whom the patent says can be included in the filming. However, the patent details that this could just be certain body parts: “in other embodiments, only a portion of a processing agent may be viewable in captured images, such as the hands of an agent placing an item in a shipping carton,” it says. What’s unclear is whether Amazon would want to disclose the identity of its employees to the world at large by including their faces as well.

Audio might also be included in the system too whereby information of what is happening could be narrated on the video clip explaining what’s happening. That all might seem odd, but it’s specifically reserved for special orders that include engraving, gift wrapping and other special services that Amazon offer.

Hopefully all of this doesn’t mean returns to Amazon will be made more difficult. I do see a benefit in the system for Amazon though in that they will be able to more easily track down issues and tie them down to a specific place in the product packaging line where the appropriate staff member could then be trained etc…

Via: CNET and TechFlash

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