Drone recording videos and images at a high altitude
Drone recording videos and images at a high altitude. Freepik

The American multinational company triumphed with a patent on November 12. With the use of an IoT altimeter that triggers upon liftoff, a package’s altitude is tracked and uploaded to a blockchain interface with the goal of preventing drones from stealing it.

As more people buy goods online and fly their own drones, IBM foresees sly intentions:

“The confluence of the increase in drone use and the increase in online shopping provides a situation in which a drone may be used with nefarious intent to anonymously take a package that is left on a doorstep after delivery,” reads the patent.


The computing giant’s solution is to equip packages with an IoT sensor that activates once it detects a change in altitude beyond the ceiling height set when lifting off by a drone. Once it activates, the sensor periodically updates a blockchain and the intended recipient with the altitude of the package.

There are no signs that IBM plans to build an operational sensor, but if it does, the patent records that a different, secure database would be used instead of a blockchain platform.

According to the patent, blockchain is the desired platform because it allows unrelated users like the merchant or shipper to input a package’s location.

It remains uncertain how rampant drone thefts are in America. Most shipping companies are still focused on building innovative delivery mechanisms than on heists by remotely-operated small planes.

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