Amazon plans 'boxing videos'

March 31, 2010 | 10:09

Tags: #patent #uspto

Companies: #amazon

Amazon has filed a patent detailing an interesting twist on the concept of unboxing videos - a 'boxing video,' if you will.

The patent - US Patent Number 7,689,465, spotted by the guys over at TechFlash - details a system for assigning blame in the case of customers claiming that items they have ordered have not been included in the shipment, or are in some way incorrect.

Described as a "system and method for visual verification of order processing" and originally filed back in 2005, the patent details a method both of taking still images or video of the packing process and of relaying those back to the customer - allowing both retailer and client to see that precisely what was ordered is what made it into the box, and any items missing are clearly down to a light-fingered postman. This 'proof' is deepened by taken images of each stage of the process - the items being boxed, the box being sealed, and the sealed box being loaded onto a van for delivery.

The idea of taking pictures of items that are being packaged in order to prevent claims of missing or damaged goods isn't new, but Amazon's patent covers a solution to the issue in far more detail than has been done before - and suggests that false claims for missing items are a big issue for the online retailer.

Are you impressed at Amazon's solution to a thorny problem, or does it seem like the sort of obvious implementation - with prior art, no less - that should never have been granted a patent in the first place? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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