Amazon Prime delivery is pretty fast. As long as you pony up $99 every year, you can have pretty much anything shipped to you overnight — even iPhones and iPads — for just $3.99.
But what’s after Prime? According to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on a 60 Minutes interview last night, it’s PrimeAir, a new service in which Amazon will deliver your goods to you via drones within half-an-hour.
Claiming that the project has already advanced pretty far in the R&D stage, Bezos says that PrimeAir’s armada of drones could do quick and light deliveries within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon Shipment Center. Kayaks, Bezos says, are out… but iPhones and iPads, which weigh under a pound each, would certainly be in.
The benefits of drones, besides being cool? Quicker than trucks, and more green-friendly as well, since they don’t gulp down gasoline: instead, they’re entirely electric. They’d also be efficient and deliver to you anywhere, since they could simply track your GPS position.
Even though Amazon has been working on drone delivery for a fair time, Bezos cautions that PrimeAir won’t debut until at least 2015, and even that’s unlikely. In fact, Bezos says that once you account for FAA approval, PrimeAir is probably four or five years out, and safety is a big concern: “This thing can’t land on someone’s head,” says Bezos.
Can you imagine ordering a new iPad and having a robot deliver it to you 30 minutes later? Welcome to the 21st Century to come, my friends.