retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Call it yet more evidence that when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about investing in drone technology as a way of potentially delivering products to shoppers, he wasn't just blowing smoke.

The Fresno Bee reports that it is "testing a small drone aircraft that could possibly be used for news reporting purposes." The idea is that the drones, which typically cost about $500, could be employed "for aerial photography of accidents, fires, farmland and waterways."

There are limitations, the story says: "The drone can stay in the air for only 20 minutes, and the paper would also have to take into account other restrictions imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration."

Not to mention that the paper would have to teach staffers how to operate them remotely.

But it seems remarkable how fast the testing of drones for civilian/business purposes, which seemed like a joke when Bezos first unveiled Amazon's plans on "60 Minutes," has become commonplace. A couple of months ago, it seemed like a fantasy, and now it seems like everybody is doing it.

It's an Eye-Opener.
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