As Amazon gears up to one day deliver customer orders via drone, the e-commerce giant is reportedly toying with ways to make that system more efficient.
One possibility, according to CNN, is a shipping label that turns into a parachute to ensure soft landings from airborne drone deliveries.
Amazon last week received a patent for the label — which could also include self-adhering material, a tear-away cover and shock-absorbing parachute cords — from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Current demonstrations of Amazon's drone technology show its unmanned, autonomous aircraft landing on the ground at delivery sites before depositing their cargo.
The newly patented system, however, adds more detail to the company's plans for drones that could deliver packages in mid-flight. CNN noted that Amazon previously received a patent for a system to gently guide packages from airborne drones to the ground.
Amazon indicated that its drones will be ready to deploy as soon as they are approved by federal regulators, but that's not expected to happen for at least several years.