Americans have become all kinds of lazy. It’s ok—we are all guilty of it. We order food delivery from a pizza place that we could drive to and pick up ourselves. We buy simple pre-made sandwiches at coffee shops for the price we could spend on ingredients to make 10 sandwiches. We even do things that make us feel like we are cooking even though the ingredients were already measured out and pre-packaged by a food delivery service. We order most of our own splurge presents and presents for others online, thus avoiding malls and post offices. In the years that follow it seems likely in addition to self-driving cars and creative use ideas for drones, chances are we will see a variety of inventions that help make us lazier. Ok, let me rephrase to not offend-inventions that will make our lives more creative/innovative/streamlined/ and futuristic. Maybe in a few years Alexa will be ordering us both food and writing this blog.
One invention that hit the news recently and made me laugh and pause to think is this Amazon subterranean delivery system called Dedicated Network Delivery Systems. The system is explained in a 33 page patent that includes pictures and descriptions of giant vacuum tubes and conveyor belts. http://www.newsweek.com/amazon-patent-tunnel-underground-subterranean-delivery-system-538821
Here is some information directly from the patent…
“…in order to travel from an origin to a destination, a passenger or an object such as a container having one or more items therein must typically travel within multiple transportation networks and along multiple modes of transit. For example, a passenger intending to fly from one city to another may be required to walk to a taxicab, ride in the taxicab to a train station, take a train to an airport before flying to another airport, where he or she must complete a similar process in reverse prior to reaching the other city. Similarly, a parcel delivered from a warehouse or like facility is occasionally delivered by hand to a car or a truck, then to an airport, a seaport or a train station via the van or truck, and to a corresponding airport, seaport or train station, from which the item is typically delivered to a customer by another car or truck.” https://www.google.com/patents/US9505559
It turns out that there’s also the Hyperloop vacuum tube transport system that Elon Musk came up with. Taking a break from figuring out how to get us to space, he has reasoned, ““It’s a really simple and obvious idea and I wish more people would do it: build more tunnels,”
Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that propels a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at more than airline speed. The alpha version of the proposal, published on the SpaceX website, describes claims of the design of the system, as well as its function. The pods would accelerate to cruising speed gradually using a linear electric motor and glide above their track using passive magnetic levitation or air bearings. The tubes could also go above ground on columns or underground, eliminating the dangers of grade crossings. It is hoped that the system will be highly energy-efficient, quiet and autonomous.
If both these make your head spin, I’m right there with you. The options would be endless-for example you could send lasagna with your Tupperware you need back-through a giant tube and then have your friend return the Tupperware later that evening with a fresh out of the oven pie (one can dream).
At Mohr IP Law we are happy to help you with your inventions that involve on ground, above ground, or below ground. We have real life, hard-working attorneys who don’t live in a vacuum (even though they may travel in one a few years from now). Please contact us today to get your intellectual property project started. And remember not to throw something for delivery down a random tube until it’s confirmed to actually be an up and running delivery system.