Feeds

Amazon floats 'Prime Air' drone delivery plan

Copies Australian and Chinese companies with odd aerial-atom-delivery experiment

Seven Steps to Software Security

Hot from The Reg's department of perhaps-a-bit-too-obediently-reporting-the-tech-titans comes news that Amazon.com has floated a plan to deliver goods by un-manned aerial vehicle.

Amazon looks to have teed up a soft interview with CEO Jeff Bezos on US network CBS' flagship news magazine program 60 minutes. That interview “investigated” how the company can cope with the colossal levels of shopping that break out across the USA. Promotions for the story promised a “big surprise”.

Reg man Jack Clark, in the tweet below, had a guess at what that surprise would be.

And he was right, with Bezos showing off the drone depicted in the video below.

Watch Video

Everything's still very much, pardon the pun, up in the air, with Amazon saying it hopes the United States' Federal Aviation Administration sees fit to allow its plans by 2015.

An Amazon Prime Air drone

An Amazon Prime delivery drone

Even if that comes about, the plan raises plenty of questions, courtesy of The Reg's department of hang-on-that-doesn't-make-sense.

For starters, an Australian company has already revealed plans to do pretty much the same thing. A Chinese company has also been trialling a similar service since September, according to the South China Morning Post. Has Amazon bothered to patent this?

Secondly, the drones depicted look wimpy. If one were to order, say, a DVD box set it doesn't look like they would cope. Is that really useful?

Third: The promised service would not reach many people because the footprint that could be served from Amazon's warehouses would almost certainly not cover all of the US population. Does that make this a token effort?

Fourth: The whole plan looks antediluvian. Amazon is not alone in realising that this internet thing is very good at delivering content. Why does Bezos want to deliver by drone when he could deliver by Kindle?

Fifth: The video is very pretty but leaves questions galore unanswered. What if, for example, one lives near a flightpath for an airport? Or in an apartment? Or in a home shaded by many trees?

We could go on. But we'll leave that to Amazon's PR team as Prime Air starts to waft closer to reality. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.