Amazon plans to deliver products, paranoia via unmanned drones

Amazon plans to deliver products, paranoia via unmanned drones

The evolution of Amazon into the real-life Omni Consumer Products has taken several steps forward, over a weekend already marked by our further descent into corporatocratic dystopia, with CEO Jeff Bezos announcing on 60 Minutes his plans to deliver packages by drone. Dubbed Amazon Prime Air—a name that will need to be revisited once Amazon controls the Earth’s atmosphere—the service could provide customers with their consumer goods in a mere 30 terrifying minutes, winged in by a small, unmanned “octocopter” raining customer satisfaction from above.

“We’re not gonna deliver kayaks or table saws this way,” Bezos said, thus reassuring everyone that he certainly has no plans to blot out the sun with a blackbird swarm of tiny, smiling robots clutching sporting equipment and industrial hardware. Instead, they would be limited to packages of 5 lbs.

Of course, there are still some logistics to be sorted out. Bezos estimates there’s another “four, five years” before the project completes its initial research and development, and then there are trivial matters such as getting the FAA’s approval; working out the drones’ GPS-based reliability, so that drones don’t “land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood;” suppressing the populace’s fear of a corporate monolith literally owning the sky; perfecting the logo, etc.

In the meantime, vice president Dave Clark sees it all as part of Amazon’s inevitable evolution into the world’s centralized distributor of everything except for love, for now. “Anything you want on Earth, you’re gonna get from us,” Clark said—a manifesto that, with the advent of drones strafing the nation with Xbox games and skin cream, is closer than ever to being realized.

Naturally, some suspect that, despite the demonstration video below, this program is little more than a publicity stunt, as there are simply too many variables to contend with: the disruption of air travel; the constant threat of injury; the drones’ vulnerability to hackers; the fact that half of the nation is already loading up their shotguns, eager to spend the next few years skeet-hunting themselves some David Sedaris books, etc. Nevertheless, Bezos remains confident “it will work, and it will happen,” likely owing to a forthcoming announcement regarding the company’s acquisition of all major airlines and the establishment of its own Amazon Prime Police Force.

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