It's exactly a month today, that a patent called 'Method and System for Anticipatory Packaging Shipping' was granted to Amazon.
It's a fascinating concept, even though after running through the details of the patent, I came to realise that the title may be a bit misleading. I found that it is more about sending the goods on their way before the purchase occurred, rather than dropping items on people's doorstep prior to payment. Although that can happen by erroneous algorithms, too. And should a pregnant mother get inappropriate adult toys during the initial runs, it is of course likely to make cynical media headlines.
But if they can get it right, it has the potential to dramatically increase efficiency and speed. 'Speculative shipping, of packages may enable more sophisticated and timely management of inventory items, for example by allowing packages to begin flowing towards potential customers in advance of actual orders.' (source)
And we have come to expect nothing less from Amazon, the genius at the forefront of using Big Data.