Amazon Drones On

Ever wondered what books Flash Gordon might have read? Well, now you can take a giant leap from the past into the future and see what Amazon has planned in terms of technological wizardry that is something from another planet. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with no human pilot aboard, controlled by computers or a remote pilot on the ground. They come in all of the colors and all of the sizes, but they are usually used for military special operations or firefighting and policing. That’s until Amazon came along to book themselves into the magical world of on-line sales and delivery. Now, super-saver delivery will be made from the air via drones. Or, that’s the plan within the next few years!

Sciences fiction or reality?

Amazon Prime Air

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles will supposedly deliver orders within thirty minutes to customers across the US. It’s not quite there yet, but they plan to do it according to their latest publicity spiel.

Hype, hoax or reality? Only time will tell. Intoxicated on reality even!

Whatever happens it might just bring more interest to Amazon from investors. Innovation, however foolhardy it may seem or downright stupid always ends up attracting people. The whacky and the weird have a propensity to bring the investors knocking at the door.  Amazon says that the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is currently discussing the feasibility of such UAVs being used for commercial purposes. According to Amazon, this will mean that they will be delivering to your doorstep via the air rather than waiting for the mail truck to pull up outside your house.

But, is it really feasible? The founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos unveiled his master plane to conquer the skies and not just the web with his Octocopter in an interview this week on 60 Minutes, aired on CBS.

Octocopter Drone Delivery by Amazon

Octocopter Drone Delivery by Amazon

But, just how real can it be? Isn’t Amazon pulling us into a fairy-tale land or will the FAA really give the all-clear to drones. It hardly seems feasible given the current state of affairs and paranoia about terrorist attacks on the USA. This would mean that the skies the limit or rather the sky is limitless.

Anyone would be able to supplant an Amazon drone with another one that might have deadlier ends in mind rather than just delivering the latest hot best-seller of all time. Come on Amazon: for you to be able to deliver by drone you would have to change the whole geopolitical structure of the world, plus get a government in office that were actually able to deal with any serious threat of terrorism that would mean that we could all carry on living our lives normally (and use drones to get our groceries delivered too; if ever that became normal).

Isn’t Amazon just droning on to attract the investors or build some hype? You hardly need it Amazon; you are doing quite well without it, aren’t you?

  • Amazon had a better-than-expected third quarter in terms of revenue this year.
  • They were up 24% in comparison with last year.
  • That means revenue of $17.9 billion.
  • The estimate was $16.76 billion.
  • Net sales are expected to reach somewhere between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion in the 4th quarter 2013.
  • That will work out at somewhere between 10% and 25% in terms of growth this year since last year.
  • Amazon is the 43rd company in world rankings for market value (Forbes).
  • Amazon’s shares currently stand at $387.53.

    Back to the Future? Amazon?

    Back to the Future? Amazon?

The first drones were used (at least, an attempt at using them) in 1916, during World War I with the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane. The US first launched UAVs in 1959 when the US Air Force started using unmanned planes, worried that they would lose too many pilots in the fight against the Russians during the Cold War, under the code name ‘Red Wagon’.

We’ve come a long way since then.

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