Drones are changing the game for shopping at home

On Dec. 1, 2013, Amazon.com announced Amazon Prime Air, a system that would utilize automated drones to deliver packages. Amazon’s drone program aims to be able to deliver packages that fit within the 5lbs constraint directly to Amazon’s customer’s doors.

MHS junior Antonio Flores said, “I think it would use a lot less fuel and make sending packages much more easy, but it is definitely creepy having a drone deliver a package to your front door.”

Yet, this sentiment is not universal, as MHS sophomore Mikaela Mattheis said, “I think it is a really cool and convenient idea.”

The main question concerning the use of drones is whether or not the increased ease of purchasing goods outweighs the possible breaches of privacy. Rodger A. Grimes, a security expert from InfoWorld.com, said that, “all our supposed guaranteed personal privacy, digital or otherwise, is nothing but a façade.” This brings the debate that any personal space Americans think they have is already void.

If a customer lives within 10 miles of an Amazon Prime Air hub, they would be able to receive purchases within half an hour of ordering them. Such a change in the delivery time would completely revolutionize how Americans would shop online, with last minute shopping and impulse buys becoming the norm.

On the topic of the time the package would be delivered, MHS junior Aishwarya Jayan said, “I feel like that will drastically change how people shop because they are used to waiting a day or even a week for their packages, and 30 minutes is excessively short. A good example is that the customer could order a dress the day of an event and still be ready in time.”

However, some people have criticized the weight limit of 5 lbs for Amazon Prime Air, citing that the majority of the items they buy far exceed 5 lbs. This is disproven by a survey Amazon conducted in which they found that most orders placed are actually less than 5 lbs.

To this Flores added, “I know, especially with my mom, we have purchased a lot of stuff over five pounds, but we have purchased a lot more stuff under five pounds. So, [Amazon Prime Air] would make it a lot easier for us to get packages.”

With Amazon bypassing strict U.S. drone regulations by setting up testing facilities in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands, Amazon Prime Air is slated to be introduced into the public in four to five years.

MHS junior Josh Robertson said, “The first time I heard [the drones] would be ready in four to five years, it was 2012, and four years have passed, so I don’t think it is going to happen.” Such sentiments are shared by a good portion of Americans who view this drone project as nothing more than an impossible dream.

With the leaps in technology, especially in concern to drones, the likelihood of Amazon Prime Air is ever increasing; and whether or not this drone delivery service comes to fruition, one thing is certain. For better or worse, Amazon Prime Air will revolutionize the online sales industry.