You leave your house as usual around 8am, a little early to avoid the inevitable delays, to jump on the subway and reach the office by 9am. Before walking up the steps a coffee stop in the lobby is not just necessary it’s essential, “two cream, two sugars – please”, just as you’re about to reach for the door to the office lobby with a steaming cup of java in one hand and your Anitgua satchel draped over the same shoulder, a stranger who was sitting on near-by bench approaches saying “here’s your package.”
That’s the hope of a newly derived crowd-platform delivery system coined TwedEx by Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research in Seattle. There are similar delivery concepts already existent as web and mobile apps, but this one has one essential difference: the service will be able to bubble up routes and destinations that are traveled frequently. The model calls for a package to be delivered amongst a chain of people, and an algorithm does the math to calculate the fastest route using location data compiled from New York tweeters.
The dreamed up idea would make it cheaper to ship packages and deliver purchases to customers on the go. The sender would enter the users unique ID – Twitter handle for instance – and TwedEx then distributes the fastest routes for the crowd. Each member of the crowd distributing the package would earn an incentive based on distance they would have to travel and wait time.