Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has just announced during a 60 Minutes interview a new plan for the company. Said to be 4-5 years away from reality, these Amazon PrimeAir drones will deliver packages to consumers in as little as 30 minutes. If all this sounds amazing it is, but Amazon certainly didn’t invent it.
Australian text book service, Zookal announced plans for a drone delivery system back in October with the launch scheduled for this month. We’ve seen this kind of move before with the likes of the LIFX kickstarter which was quickly ripped off by Phillips who created the Hue bulbs.
Given Amazon’s brand awareness, and the lack of Zookal’s people will now associate this drone delivery system as Amazon’s. Hopefully they had some patents to protect their idea, although they were simply commercialising existing military technology, so not sure there’s scope for new patents.
Don’t get me wrong I think it’s great Amazon are working on PrimeAir, it’s far above and beyond most traditional distributors, but it’s definitely not original.
The biggest challenge for these hexacopters is actually not the technology, that’s a completely solvable problem. The challenge is for aerial regulators to be open minded enough to allow companies to prove the reliability and safety of the devices.
More information at The Verge.
When we compare the videos from each company, the copy, paste job is pretty clear.