Imagine you’re sitting at home, bored and hungry, and you suddenly get the urge to watch Wet Hot American Summer and eat some Tater Tots. A smile grows on your face in anticipation, but then you remember that not only do you not own this classic comedy on DVD but you’re also fresh out of Tots. (Also you live alone, your car is in the shop, and there are no stores nearby.) What do you do?!
If this were the distant future you could probably watch the movie by way of some kind of digital signal stream through your television or wristwatch, but that utopia is not the world we live in my friend. Even if that was possible though, you’d still be Tot-less and hungry.
Thankfully, this nightmarish scenario won’t be a reality for too much longer. It seems online retail behemoth Amazon.com wasn’t content with their recent move to rent out the USPS for Sunday deliveries to their Amazon Prime customers, as now they’re looking to get you your merchandise even quicker. Head honcho Jeff Bezos appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes last night and announced that Amazon is testing package deliveries via remote-controlled drones. The goal of the endeavor, currently called Prime Air, is to get purchases to consumers in under thirty minutes.
Tiny helicopters, whizzing through the air, racing to and fro with fragile (yet deadly if dropped from a height) packages secured to their belly… what could possibly go wrong?
Keep reading for a glimpse into the future including an official Amazon video of what using Prime Air might look like…
The best part of this promo video is seeing the father protect his son from the flying machine by keeping him indoors until the deadly contraption is gone.
Bezos readily admits that this idea is still in the R&D phase for several reasons. The technology needs to be perfected, the logistics need to be worked out, and a certain FAA roadblock needs to be removed before any of this can be rolled out to consumers. Congress gave the FAA until 2015 to create a set of rules and regulations allowing commercial use of drones in the United States. They’re already used to some extent by law enforcement (including border patrol), but the commercially viable uses are seemingly endless. They can monitor private property, farmers can use them to spray pesticides or herd sheep, they can aid in search and rescue, and two goofballs from Yelp even plan on delivering burritos via drones.
Amazon delivery drones would be something else entirely though. Unlike those more localized uses, Amazon is an enormous and wide-reaching enterprise. They’re constantly working to increase their reach and speed of delivery, but clearly they’re not content with same-day delivery from far more distribution centers and their recent move to rent out the USPS for Sunday deliveries to their Amazon Prime customers. They currently handle roughly 137 million customers per week, a number that’s likely to grow, and the thought of even one percent of that number receiving deliveries via flying machines is fairly terrifying. They’re not alone wither as companies as diverse as FedEx and Domino’s are toying with the idea of drone deliveries too.
Even once the FAA’s rules are squared away there are still some fairly major concerns over safety and limitations. How big will the drones have to get in order to deliver larger items? How can the operators hope to avoid collisions with cars pulling into driveways, birds minding their own business, and kids wondering what rapidly spinning blades do to tender human flesh? Imagine the sound of tens or hundreds of these things buzzing through the air above your head? Pizza Hut was sued for millions of dollars when one of their drivers killed a woman while racing to deliver a pie in under thirty minutes… and now we’re going to have flying lawn mowers rushing around trying to accomplish the same thing. (Deliver in under 30 minutes, not kill a woman.)
Good thing we aren’t already part of an entitled consumer society with an unhealthy desire for instant gratification.
The future is coming, and it will be filled with death from above raining hellfire on the outdoor masses below. The take-away is clear. You should really buy yourself a DVD copy of Wet Hot American Summer right now to avoid the rush and possible decapitation. You can even use our Amazon affiliate link here. (And don’t forget the Tater Tots!)