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Amazon: Prime Air Drones

amazon-dronesRecently, Amazon has created new drone devices, designed to dramatically improve the delivery time of all online product orders. The Amazon “Prime Air” drones are expected to be able to deliver products weighing up to five pounds, to addresses within a ten mile radius … within approximately thirty minutes of receiving an order. While Amazon is planning to implement these new devices by 2015, skeptics are questioning whether this deadline is realistic. Prime Air drones are a mere thought at this stage as there are major impracticalities that Amazon has yet to address.

It is discomforting, to say the least, that any “Joe Shmoe” with a rifle, could simply shoot down one of these drones in mid air for their trophy case’s next addition (and to claim a free gift.) You see, while Amazon drones cannot carry extremely heavy loads, some of the products being delivered will be extremely valuable (phones, video games etc.) … not to mention other “private” items for which consumers would prefer delivered in a secure and discrete manner.

Security would continue to be an issue in highly populated areas as a drone’s only job to this point would be to drop off a package at a consumer’s location. To date, Amazon has done absolutely nothing to ensure that its customers actually receive their products – making purchased items “fair game” for anyone their good recipient can call “neighbor.” With that being said, the Prime Air drones could possibly function better, dare we say ‘thrive,’ in more rural areas where land is more private and secluded. However, Amazon claims they will only deliver to addresses within a ten mile radius of their distribution sites. Therefore, it is not probable that they would deliver to the aforementioned rural areas, which appear to be much more conducive to the drone delivery system concept.

All in all, the Amazon drones are an excellent idea on paper and could prove to be a real game changer for online shopping. That being said, it is not a completely practical idea at this point. Many have already figured out ways to hack and manipulate these devices in order to illegally obtain valuables. However, the mere fact that Amazon now possesses such futuristic capabilities is impressive and inspires the imagination regarding the future of online shopping. One cannot help to be excited by the purported use of these future-is-now devices.

The idea of a drone delivery system has been around for some time; however the idea seemed more science fiction-like. Amazon has evolved this idea from a “nice thought” into something that is a bit closer to tangible. While obstacles like how birds (extremely territorial creatures) may interact with these devices have yet to be addressed – in a perfect world, prime air drones do work. The challenge will be to make them functional/practical in a world in which is largely unknown in such capacity. While Amazon remains optimistic about forthcoming challenges, 2015 may be a tad auspicious – even for a big-hitter like Amazon. (Though, Elon Musk likely disagrees.)

However, the thought that a drone delivery system could be in place in the near future – definitely has generated much excitement, particularly amongst those who dread the alternative method called “traditional holiday shopping.”