Walmart plans to launch a new system of secure delivery lockers located near customers’ homes, transportation centers, etc, where the delivered items can be picked up by customers.
The retail giant of the U.S.A announces the plan for a delivery-oriented blockchain patent. On July 5, Walmart published an application; “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method”, which summarizes a new method of managing delivery reservations when customers are unavailable to receive a product.
The delivery lockers designed by Walmart will safeguard the items till the customers can sign for the items. Blockchain technology will be used to connect the lockers in order to track which lockers are occupied and which are not.
The new ‘smart delivery’ service by Walmart is one of the many similar US patent applications submitted by Walmart. Walmart gave the following 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.”
Walmart appreciates the idea of a public ledger suggesting that the system will be open to the public to a certain extent. In general, blockchain technology is a decentralized and distributed system; however, the technology can still be distributed and centralized. In this manner, central entities can still provide a transparent system whilst monitoring the entire program.
Walmart plans to use the distributed nature to their advantage. The ‘public ledger’ idea suggests that the customer will be able to view which lockers are empty and which will be emptied soon so that they can plan their delivery ahead. Also, by using blockchain technology, Walmart will ensure that the lockers are safe. The technology can only be accessed through private passwords which are highly secure and impenetrable; only the customer can decide who can access their lockers.