Tick here for delivery by drone

by Toby Manhire / 10 December, 2013
Amazon boss says packages will soon arrive by unmanned aerial vehicles. The internet raises its eyebrow.
It’s safe to say the super-saver rate won’t apply for the new extraordinary new air-mail service that online retailer Amazon hopes to offer within five years: delivery by drone.

CEO Jeff Bezos has told US television he hopes to see an “autonomous drone delivery scheme” up and buzzing within five years. The announcement sparked widespread astonishment and scepticism online – along with some rather good jokes.

A spoof Amazon flyer, headed “We attempted a drone delivery” was soon circulating, with a selection of tick boxes to explain the non-arrival: “No appropriate landing site could be found”, “The drone was running out of fuel so dropped your package in a field somewhere to reduce weight”, “Your package has been destroyed along with the drone after it strayed into restricted airspace”, or “Drone reached sentience and defected to join the machines in the upcoming revolution against mankind”.

 

(It’s not all that outlandish – DHL are currently testing a drone for medicine delivery, for example.)

Not to be outdone, Amazon’s UK rival, bookseller Waterstone’s, swiftly issued their own press release, unveiling “the Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service, a brand new way to receive your favourite books”.

The scheme, naturally, “consists of a fleet of specially trained owls that, either working individually or as an adorable team, will be able to deliver your package within thirty minutes”.

OWLS would not be available for a number of years, however, owing to the owl-training demands, “and we only just thought of it this morning”.

In the FAQ below, the big questions are put. Such as: “Q. Isn’t this how Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds began?” Relax: “A. The Birds is fiction, this is the real world. Everything will be fine.”



Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Zimbabwean self-confessed murderer tried to stay in NZ
71936 2017-05-01 06:41:25Z Currently

Zimbabwean self-confessed murderer tried to stay i…

by Jane Patterson

A former member of Robert Mugabe's secret police who admitted to rape, murder and torture has left NZ after he was denied a work visa.

Read more
Labour to release party list
71929 2017-05-01 06:24:33Z Currently

Labour to release party list

by Mei Heron

The Labour Party will release its party list today, with one casualty already confirmed - MP Sue Moroney has announced she will stand down.

Read more
Please don't mention Trump or our economic success
71892 2017-05-01 00:00:00Z Politics

Please don't mention Trump or our economic success…

by Graham Adams

It's election year — watch out for dog-whistles and half-truths.

Read more
Sir Douglas Myers: 1938-2017
71921 2017-05-01 00:00:00Z Profiles

Sir Douglas Myers: 1938-2017

by Pattrick Smellie

One of our most successful and controversial businessmen was a passionate advocate for New Zealand.

Read more
Podcast: New films Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Raw, Get Out
71959 2017-05-01 00:00:00Z Podcasts

Podcast: New films Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, …

by Noted

In this latest episode of the Screening Room, film critics James Robins and Darren Bevan pontificate and peruse the latest cinema releases.

Read more
Deborah Lipstadt: A matter of fact
71867 2017-04-30 00:00:00Z Profiles

Deborah Lipstadt: A matter of fact

by James Robins

When academic Deborah Lipstadt called self-styled historian David Irving a bigot who had falsified and distorted documents, he sued. Big mistake.

Read more
Why this Aucklander loves Takapuna and Devonport
71813 2017-04-30 00:00:00Z Where to go in Auckland

Why this Aucklander loves Takapuna and Devonport

by Paperboy

Auckland foodie Rebecca Jones makes the most of Takapuna’s market and Devonport’s lovely library.

Read more
Keeping it real: What part does humanity play in virtual reality?
71678 2017-04-30 00:00:00Z Technology

Keeping it real: What part does humanity play in v…

by Peter Griffin

As virtual- and augmented-reality apps swamp us, developers are urged to remember humanity.

Read more