People keep talking about deliveries by drone. Admittedly, most of these people are Amazon spokespeople, trying to engage enthusiasm for what could be a really cool development in online retail: you order something and have it delivered within hours instead of having to wait oh god two whole days.
(I mock, but I can imagine scenarios when it would be nice to get something super quick.)
I see two hindrances to this plan, one minor and one major.
Minor hindrance: Cost. Right now I pay zero for delivery from Amazon*. No, I'm not a member of Prime, I'm just not impatient. If I have to wait two days anyway, what's another three or four? (I grant delivery time may be different if you don't live on the I-95 corridor within a few hours of two Amazon warehouses and a major UPS transfer hub.)
But I call this a minor hindrance because lots of other people are members of Prime and if drone delivery is offered free to Prime members, it would probably be worth it to some not-yet-Prime customers to join.
But then there's the Major hindrance.
Does anyone honestly think that in a country with next to zero gun control laws, populated by a noticeable percentage of paranoid lunatics and outright thieves, that drone deliveries will go unmolested?
Shit, I'm neither a paranoid lunatic nor a thief, and I immediately thought of shooting down drones just to be an asshole because I don't want the fucking things buzzing all over my neighborhood.** (I don't own a gun, so this would involve a slingshot or throwing rocks or something, I guess.)
Perhaps after the first fifty tries yield nothing more valuable than a box of candy bars intended for some college student who's smoked too much pot the thieves might give it up. Or they might say, "Hey, here comes a drone! Free chocolate bars!"
(And perhaps some sale value for the drone parts. If people steal all the wiring and plumbing from vacant houses for the scrap metal value, I'm sure they'll find a use for drone bits.)
So, yeah, kinda looking forward to what happens with the drone-delivery concept.
*Yes, I do order things from Amazon, just not books. I only order items on sale, and I never pay for shipping. I'm pretty certain I cost them money. I get a chuckle when they release financials showing they did a bazillion dollars in business, and in the process lost money that quarter. Obviously I'm not the only one gaming their system.
**Because how do you tell the difference between a delivery drone and some asshole with a spycam checking out the neighbor girl sunbathing in her yard? Because they might annoy birds, which I like. Because they might malfunction and crash land on a car or through a house window or on power lines. Because they're noisy. Because I like to look at a clear sky, not one with a lot of machines buzzing around in it.