Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
Sunday night on 60 Minutes, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in an interview with Charlie Rose that his mega-etailer was experimenting with yet another delivery service: Soon, you'll be able to receive your goods within 30 minutes of placing an order, delivered by a flying robot drone.
No joke. Amazon notes, "It looks like science fiction, but it's real." Packages weighing up to five pounds will be eligible for the service. Items will be loaded into a small container and picked up by one of the drones — which Amazon calls "octocopters" — and zipped through the air to your delivery destination. Bezos said that, although extensive testing and FAA compliance is required, he expects the drones to be "fully autonomous and in operation within four or five years," according to BusinessInsider.
Delivery gimmicks like this often debut in advance of the holiday season, especially as other companies attempt to compete with Amazon and its two-day Prime delivery service. eBay recently expanded its one-hour delivery service, eBay Now, to include Chicago, Dallas, the NYC metropolitan area, and the San Francisco peninsula.
But this. This.
One the one hand, neat-o! On the other, the tin-foil-hat set might have reason to start quaking more than usual. Since government tech tends to be a little more advanced than consumer tech — think of DARPA's prancing, cinderblock-hurling BigDog, not to mention our current arsenal of militarized drones — it makes one wonder: If, in the near future, you'll be able to have your copy of Fifty Shades of Grey dropped off in 30 minutes or less via drone, imagine how quickly a person could be assassinated by a flying executioner?