Amazon have scored plenty of headlines with its drone delivery story, Prime Air. For the uninterested, Amazon have said they’ll be able to shorten delivery times by despatching your goods via drones rather than delivering via the postal system in the future.
It’s not as fanciful as it might sound. Flirtey are set to pull it off in Australia this year, claiming, “We’re building an industry, not just a company.” But for the present, drones are banned over London and can’t fly below certain heights in UK residential areas, so much would need to change for the UK market to be a winner for Amazon’s drones.
Much more likely is the possibility of their ‘anticipatory shipping’ project that’ll see them despatching goods before they’ve received the orders. Amazon will apparently take into account your search history, purchasing frequency, wish lists and other mathematically fantastic data in order to anticipate just what will be purchased and when. Although on the face of it this isn’t too different from an advanced procurement tool any multinational might employ, Amazon have patented the process, indicating distinctiveness.
So although firms are building case studies and working models of drone delivery services, I think it’s more likely that we’ll see drones involved in actually filming the news rather than being the subject of it.
Drones could supplant phone hacking as de rigueur for journos looking to pry into private lives. They could easily deploy drones over A-listers’ in their private time. Think of Will and Kate on holiday in a French chateaux again, but with the chance of a HD camera being 40 meters above them not 1km outside the garden.
What about you? Do you think drones will be the new Postman Pat or Peeping Tom?