While most retailers spent the weekend puzzling over Black Friday numbers and Cyber Monday expectations, Amazon chose the weekend to unveil a new drone prototype that it says can be utilized to deliver packages within 30 minutes after ordering.
Narrated by British TV show host Jeremy Clarkson - who recently signed a deal to host a video program for Amazon Prime - and said to take place in "the not too distant future," the video essentially is a case study of a family that needs a pair of athletic shoes quickly, orders them via an Amazon Kindle, and has them delivered via Prime Air drone within 30 minutes.
Notable in the video is the implication that people will have to opt-in for drone deliveries ... it shows the placement by the consumer of a kind of target as a landing pad for the drones, presumably in a place where there is lots of room. The drones are shown to be able to fly vertically and horizontally, with "sense and avoid" technology that detects obstacles; this one, part of an eventual "family of drones" that Amazon plans to operate, can travel 15 miles and reach an altitude of 400 feet.
You can watch the video here. Or, click on the window above.
- KC's View:
- There's no question that this will continue to be a controversial technology. There was, for example, a story in the Telegraph in the UK about how an 18-month-old boy "was left blind in one eye when a (drone) propeller sliced through his eyeball while he was playing in the garden."
(Just reading that phrase makes me wince.)
It just seems to me that this is happening ... that there will be fleets of drones making deliveries, and that they will be regulated by federal officials. And, if I had to guess, I'd be willing to bet that it won't take long, once this system has become operational, for people to start wondering how they survived before it existed.