Amazon is just droning around - The Explorer: Opinion

Amazon is just droning around

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Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:00 am

Recently, Amazon came out with plans to have drones deliver packages to the ever-increasing number of customers who are using this online resource for shopping rather than going into stores. Now, Amazon is looking to deliver these packages quicker than you can get a pizza from Dominos.

As much as I would love to get my supplies, gifts and impulse purchases 30 minutes after ordering, I’m not sure I would want a drone at my house or would want to be outside with the massive amount of unmanned vehicles going from house-to-house to drop off our packages.

The news of this drone prospect came from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who said they are looking to offer delivery via drone-like “octocopters.” As Bezos explained in “60 Minutes”, the new program will be known as “Amazon Prime Air”.

Then Bezos played a Prime Air demo video for the “60 Minutes” team that showed how his octocopters will pick up packages in small yellow buckets at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and whiz through the air to deliver items to individual customers 30 minutes after they hit the “buy” button online at Amazon.com.

Let the flying begin – or maybe not. While Amazon has set an eager four or five-year deadline to begin the unmanned deliveries, I can’t see how it would be a safe idea. I also know I am not alone in my worries.

In a round table discussion, the Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart offers this prediction: “The day we start seeing drones flying all around is the day we see people shooting down those drones.”

Let’s start there. If Amazon believes that people aren’t going to take the opportunity to damage, capture or screw with these creepy little robots lurking around to deliver the packages we can’t seem to live without overnight or for five to seven days – then they are delusional.

Then, there’s the safety factors. How in the world could this be safe? How many will be flying around at a time? Would the Federal Aviation Administration even let this happen?

Of course, drones have become a lot more popular. From what I found online, they can be purchased online for about $1,000. Many of them are used to attach GoPro cameras. 

It’s interesting when the self checkout stands at the grocery stores first came into existence there was some resistance. Many, like myself, were more than a little upset  about these machines taking jobs from people.  However, I have found myself using them more often than not. I like the convenience.

But, is convenience worth having robots lurking around the sky? 

We want to push for our privacy more often than not, but with today’s technology stores and organizations are able to track us more than ever. How can anyone think these robotic drones aren’t going to be another layer of being an information-gathering source for retailers to use to stalk you?

A recent news report warned shoppers to be weary about having cell phones on while shopping in stores. Why would it matter? Well, apparently your shopping habits are recorded through GPS signals.

What will drones being sent to your home do? First, there’s the GPS coordinates for your home, which leads to demographics. Who lives in your area? Pay scale, gender, age and much more can quickly be recorded for retailers to use.

Then, we have cell phone issues for you when you are actually inside of stores. Recent reports state that more than a dozen national retailers are working to track how people shop, the way online shoppers are tracked through cookies.

We thought privacy was an issue before – that’s nothing once drones start flying through the friendly skies.

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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • John Flanagan posted at 2:07 pm on Wed, Dec 11, 2013.

    John Flanagan Posts: 335

    I agree with you, Thelma. With respect to drones, there is a safety issue at hand. The clear skies over Oro Valley would be filled with drones delivering flowers, pizza, Chinese food, and gifts from QVC and Amazon. It would bring us up to the chaotic reality of the JETSON'S and I don't think the old retirees here are ready for it just yet.

     

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