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IBM powered drones could one day deliver coffee to you

In a patent filed by IBM, drones could one day deliver coffee to thirsty individuals or those that just need a pick-me-up. According to USA Today, the paperwork filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allows the delivery of beverages in multiple settings like an office, cafe, or public event when one is ordered. Here’s the interesting part: these drones can also deliver coffee to those who are in need of a caffeine boost based off of a prediction. Let’s explain how this all works.

Coffee delivery

Mobile ordering has taken the food industry by storm with most major restaurant chains offering an app that lets customers choose what they want to eat and place an order. The only problem is now they have to get in their car and drive to the location for their food. IBM wants to take travel out of the equation by bringing the coffee, straight to you.

These coffee carrying drones would be no small aircraft as something the size of the DJI Phantom has trouble carrying a full water bottle. This raises concerns in itself like noise pollution from the motors, potential crashes, and overall how the drone will identify the customer. IBM has stated that identification won’t be an issue as it could be handled through facial or voice recognition, a phone Bluetooth signal, or a wearable electronic ID.

These coffee drones will also make laps to have caffeine always available. A simple flag down like a taxi with the wave of the arm will get the drones attention, bringing you the coffee it is carrying.

Predicting your caffeine addiction

What stands out most about this patent is the fact that these drones predict when someone needs a caffeine kick and can bring a coffee to them without any ordering needed. This prediction is made by the drone itself through data collected from wearables like a Fitbit or Apple Watch. These devices already track a lot about our health like activity, sleep, and biometrics in the case of more advanced trackers.

With this data, the drone makes a decision through calculations to determine whether or not you need a cup of coffee. Here’s the thing, what if I don’t want the coffee? What if the coffee gets cold? What if it’s not the kind that I like?

A patent that will likely sit on the shelf

You might be as surprised as I was when I first read about this patent but I sure won’t be surprised if it never comes to reality. I personally can’t imagine drones buzzing in and out of a cafe or randomly stopping people on the street just because they didn’t get enough sleep. The technology IBM wants to use might sound simple, but in reality, this would be an incredibly hard feat to pull off. I’ll just stick to the drive-through.

What do you think about coffee delivery drones predicting your caffeine needs? Let us know in the comments below.


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Photo credit: BBC