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Amazon Prime Air – an incredibly cool idea which is also a disaster waiting to happen

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The mighty Amazon (and no we don’t mean the river) has been flaunting a possible future service which could provide local deliveries of small packages (up to 2.6kg in weight) using automatic flying drones. The company has thoughtfully provided a video to show how it might work, and it looks amazing.

Basically the idea is to have a special premium service – Amazon Prime Air – which will take the small package, pop it in a plastic box, which is then automatically hooked up to a drone, which flies off to deliver your goodies in less time than it takes to say ‘traffic jam’. Man, it’s clever.

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But of course the devil is in the details. Let’s not think about getting regulatory approvals for all these little electric flying machines buzzing around 100 feet above our heads, or the problems inherent in making sure they don’t bang into each other, or into cars, cows or random power pylons.

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Nope, all we have to do is consider the ease with which any dude with time to spare could set up a system to pluck these flying parcels out of the air and grab the goodies before they reach the buyer’s hands. It doesn’t take much thought to come up with a dozen ways this could be done.

But we’re not going to be churlish, it’s an amazing concept, and we’re sure that Mr Bezos and the A-Team at Amazon will come up with all sorts of failsafe technology to ensure that if and when this service finally gets off the ground (!) it will work with the typical Amazon elegance that we’re used to.

In the meantime, enjoy this video of the future.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


2 Comments

  • Two things:
    1. Bezos repeatedly stated that it was YEARS away and that they know that there are serious hurdles.
    2. Why is everyone worried about elaborate ways to hijack my $16 order of ink cartridges? Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to just hijack a UPS or FedEx truck that has hundreds of parcels? You need a sophisticated way of making your fingers into a fake gun and putting them inside the pocket of your sweatshirt (which, coincidentally can be purchased at Amazon).

    • Heh, yes good point. But I was thinking that getting a hire powered air rifle to shoot them down was simpler and harder to trace than a sweater and finger gun move on a van. But point taken. It was somewhat tongue in cheek.

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