Amazon goes Minority Report

Online retailer planning to ship items before you buy

Josh Gross | Boulder Weekly

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that online retailer Amazon has been granted a patent for “anticipatory shipping,” a technique that will use your previous purchases to anticipate what you want to buy, and pre-ship it to the closest hub so it can be quicker loaded on a truck and brought to your doorstep.

From the article…

In deciding what to ship, Amazon said it may consider previous orders,
product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even
how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item.


The patent exemplifies a growing trend among technology and consumer
firms to anticipate consumers’ needs, even before consumers do. Today,
there are refrigerators that can tell when it’s time to buy more milk,
smart televisions that predict which shows to record and Google’s Now software, which aims to predict users’ daily scheduling needs.

The article also said that Amazon would not comment on if it plans to actually use the technique or just sit on the patent.

Read the full story here.