Smart doormat could stop neighbors stealing your drone-delivered pizza

Drone delivery

Drones might faster than conventional couriers, but they also present lots of new challenges, including increased risk of theft from any light-fingered neighbors who intercept your deliveries. Researchers at payment processing company Worldpay have proposed a solution – and it involves embedding credit card details in your doormat.

Worldpay has built a proof-of-concept model to ensure that goods are delivered to the right person at the right address using contactless payment technology.

Customers are given a custom drone landing pad, in the form of a doormat, which contains their payment card details. The drone lands on the mat, but only releases its payload if the card info matches that of the intended recipient.

Potential barriers

"Our data suggests that consumers are becoming increasingly open to the notion of drone delivery, but there are still several logistical hurdles that need to be addressed before it becomes mainstay," said Motie Bring, UK general manager for Worldpay's global enterprise ecommerce division.

"The weight of the package and flying distance both remain potential barriers to adoption, in addition to ensuring that parcels are delivered to the correct customer."

Amazon, a pioneer of delivery by drone, has its own solution to the issue of misdirected packages, and has proposed using parachutes and blasts of air to direct them to the right doorstep.

It's is also figuring out how to deal with faulty drones that threaten to fall from the sky, and has suggested that they could disintegrate mid-air to avoid crashing onto unfortunate people underneath – another small 'logistical hurdle' to mainstream adoption.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)