Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Dec 2 2013 13:02:53

Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

By: David Steiner

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For some reason, watching Jeff Bezos on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday evening talk about Amazon's far-in-the-future plans to send armies of flying drones with packages buzzing around metropolitan areas struck me as ... well ... funny. Intriguing to be sure, but still funny.

Not so much because I need things delivered to me within 30 minutes, but because the thought of turning my backyard into a miniature Laguardia airport tickles me. I'll probably purchase stuff I don't even need just to watch them land at the little heliport I'm planning on building them. I love the idea of watching the sky become dark with swarms of battery-operated, buzzing droids, like little winged monkeys, and having one drop off a package of Keurig K-Cups just in time for my afternoon Java.

This is pure science fiction come to life, and yet somehow this scenario seems believable coming from Bezos. I mean, he makes it sounds more plausible than if he were waving around his iPhone, talking about the potential of mobile shopping. And yet, the sheer logistics of implementing Amazon Prime Air are mind-boggling.

The first things that came to mind as I was watching the 60 Minutes segment were (and probably in this order):

"Cool!"
"Hmm…what about telephone wires?"
"Wonder if they can kill birds?"
"Geez, am I going to be ducking these things outside?"
"In high winds, will my package end up in Newark?"
"Do the drones come back and pick up the empty container?"
"How many people will use them as target practice?"
"If I capture one, can I keep it?"

OK, so sometimes my mind wanders.

As ridiculous as flying, package-delivering drones may sound, there is enough validity in the concept to make you want to check it out on Snopes. Personally, I really want this to happen. Sure, it may not be a reality for years (or decades) but TODAY what are people talking about? And whose brand does it put in their consciousness?

Oh and it happens to be Cyber Monday too?
 
Bezos, you brilliant bastard.




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Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Dec 2 13:15:12 2013

eBay should jump all over this program.

With the thousands of drones they already have on their payroll, the cash required to bring the infrastructure up to speed would be minimal.

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 13:44:51 2013

Michael Moore, John Stossel or Morgan Spurlock need to do an investigative documentary about ebay.

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Dec 2 13:59:08 2013

My exact first thought when I saw the article was they better be careful what they fly these things over.

I grew up near the Ozarks. Ideal hillbilly target practice. Not to mention a nice trophy for the ''kill''.  Forget duck season! AND it makes a nice political statement to ''revenuers''.


Then I thought about all the visual info these things could gather if they have video capability. ''drone cam journeys'' now playing on amazon prime!

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 14:03:21 2013

I was disappointed, waited for days to hear the ''big announcement'' hoping it would be something to damage ebay- then Bezos comes out with an idea that sounds like some crazy stuff from ebay.
If Bezos announced something like the addition of a used and collectibles side of amazon- this would have sent the ebay ship into the chasm.
I know this was hopeful thinking but drones? Come on.

Where I live it will mean duck season year round.

Leave the CRAZY ideas to donahoe.
MH

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Dec 2 14:11:15 2013

Jeff must think this is easier and more profitable than auctions.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 14:23:18 2013

Fluff and more Fluff from Bozo

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 14:40:26 2013

I happened to think about the concept of ''hillbilly target practice'', too, but what about the concept of shooting them down for just plain old thievery?  Not just for ''sport''.

Create a whole new industry of drone interception.  The mob would love it if there was enough profit in it.  Even if not on a large scale, the mom'n'pop style of thugs would engage, I'll bet.

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by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 15:51:12 2013

''Drone interception''... exactly. Get your own drone with a GoPro camera and a grappling hook, and send it out on the hunt. Hours of entertainment! Fun for the kids! Sell what you capture! (Local pickup only, please; sorry, we don't deliver.)

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Dec 2 15:51:19 2013

Here in Los Angeles, every local news broadcast has a reporter at the San Bernardino Amazon warehouse doing stories about the drones. I'm sure there are people already thinking about how they can capture one.

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 15:52:46 2013

Why settle for a practical application of existing nascent technology in 3-4 years when you can wait 50 years and have paypal outer space money?

Conversely, why wait 3-4 years when you can use the low-tech on failed business models from the last millennium *Now*?

Bezos is hardly off the mark here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux03VUoClmM

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Dec 2 15:53:16 2013

I doubt he was serious. I think he was just trying to create some ''buzz'' and to get people talking about him, and Amazon... and imagining what the future may hold and to inspire possibilities.

If so, then it looks like he succeeded. :-)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Dec 2 15:57:46 2013

Cool video! ~ Would we get to KEEP the little yellow snap-top container? (I'm sure I could think of SOMETHING to store inside.) :-)

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 16:01:39 2013

This was a publicity stunt.  

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Dec 2 16:07:37 2013

HA!

http://preview.tinyurl.com/kawhqvc

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 16:27:32 2013

@brokentoys19  KIRK; Lt. Uhura, what's that new fragrance you're wearing? UHURA: Why Captain I got it off Amazon. A space drone delivered it to me this morning at Warp 2 speed.

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Dec 2 16:34:18 2013

Brave California undercover photographer risks life to take photo of eBain Prime Air experimental delivery aircraft (JD-1) in development at the top secret eBay Skunk Works on the Whitman Corporate Campus:

http://i44.tinypic.com/303h7aw.jpg

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 16:50:06 2013

Bezos isn't the first or the only. Not by a longshot.

Domino's Flying Drone Delivers Pizza - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CYT4PFV_Hs

also search youtube for Matternet.

The future is upon us, like it or not.

Imagine the snickers and jeers that horseless carriages must have gotten?

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 16:59:59 2013

Here's another great example, from TEDTalks, published on Nov 21, 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yEl0-bCA9M

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck
Web Site

Mon Dec 2 17:07:13 2013

@brokentoys19:

"These are the voyages of the eBay Delivery Copter JD-1."

"Its five-year mission: To boldly deliver Sino-Crafted 99¢ flip flops where no man has gone before."

Perminate Link for Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air   Droning on About Amazon's Prime Air

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 2 17:19:26 2013

Donohoe probably already has a team of geniuses trying to beat Amazon to drone delivery.... sangfroid would be completely lost on eBay management. Bezos is going to do it with huge warehouses, not cute drones.

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