Tech Monday, December 2nd 2013 at 12:51 pm

Amazon Unveils Plan to Make Drone Deliveries a Reality, We Are Now Scared of Amazon

We really would have preferred an Amazon television.


Hey, you know the open, majestic skies of the American countryside? You know what those need more of? Drones. That’s what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thinks, anyway. Last night, he revealed a plan for Amazon Prime Air, a delivery system that uses drones to bring stuff to you so you never have to get up or leave the house or move ever again. Hooray!

Here’s the video, which Jeff Bezos released to 60 Minutes last night. It is just a wee bit psychologically terrifying. Or really cool, if you’re of a different mindset, and you didn’t spend your childhood reading Orwell novels before you could actually understand them. Not that anyone here did that in the seventh grade or anything. Nope. Moving along:

Okay, first of all, who the heck needs a drill delivered to them in 30 minutes? We’re all for making our lives easier, but unless you live in the absolute middle of nowhere, it’s really not that big a hassle to go out to an actual store and interact with humans to buy your drill. Secondly, we barely trust most postal services to deliver packages to us, and those are being carried by people with brains and mortgages who will get (presumably) fired if they drop your item from 100 feet up in the air or decide that your apartment does not exist.

And lastly, you can’t tell us that no one is going to try to steal other people’s stuff right out of the sky without any remorse, because drones are not particularly easy to sympathize with. We just had one sent to us last week and you won’t believe how many times we steered it into a wall without even thinking about it. Or, well, maybe you will, because we have some video:

 Our video is much less terrifying than Amazon Prime Air, though. So we have that going for us.

Luckily, we all have time to ponder over the implications and implementation of this new technology, because it probably won’t be available for another couple of years — “four or five,” as Bezos put it on 60 Minutes. For one thing, Amazon will have to get approval from the FAA to flood our airspace with tiny robots, and they’re not expected to approve any commercial drones until 2015 at the earlier. Amazon’s drones are also going to have to get better at taking off, landing, and navigating themselves, too, of course. The idyllic porch-side landing in the video is all well and good, but how exactly is a drone going to get something into a major city apartment complex without getting stepped on or stolen?

Despite all this, Bezos seems pretty confident that this is going to work as long as they put enough R&D into the project. So good luck, Amazon. You will probably need a lot of it to go with all that money you’ll be spending.


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