Delivery to Your Hands
Amazon made headlines when Prime Air made its first drone delivery in December 2016, showing how one UK resident received their Fire TV stick and a bag of popcorn just 13 minutes after ordering. Nearly two years later, though, regulations have ground Jeff Bezos’ flying dreams to a relative standstill.
In the United States, the FAA will need to make some changes to its rules on whether pilots need to maintain line-of-sight before Prime Air has any chance of launching stateside.
It may seem pedestrian compared to what’s on the horizon, though. DelivAir, which debuted its services in October 2017, wants to send packages directly to your smartphone with a combination of zipwires. The concept, aimed at demonstrating the technical capabilities of its creator, Cambridge Consultants, is yet to enter the development stage.
A promo video shows a man out cycling that gets a puncture in the countryside, who orders a new inner tube and waits a few minutes to receive the parcel in his hands.
“There are lots of fun and convenient use cases we could imagine, like having a sandwich delivered to you on a sailboat or sending flowers directly to the hands of a love interest in the park,” Dylan Garrett, project engineer at sister company Synapse, tells Inverse. “But some of the more compelling use cases are for safety critical situations, like bringing a first aid kit to a hiker, an inner tube to a stranded cyclist, or an EpiPen to a person in need.”
The company delivers over a fifth of the blood supply outside the capital city of Kigali. The dependable nature of deliveries means blood product usage has increased by 175 percent and waste has decreased by 95 percent. Plans are underway for a second distribution center.
Zipline isn’t stopping there. Last month, it unveiled a new drone that can cut the time between receiving an order and sending a drone from 10 minutes to one minute. The fixed-wing aircraft can move at around 80 miles per hour up to 100 miles away, carrying up to four pounds of cargo. The company is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate the technology stateside.