Game of Drones

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“The drones are coming! The drones are coming!”

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The internet is all a buzz with talk of drones these days. (I’m sure that’s not the first or last time you hear that pun.)

With Amazon moving closer and closer to making remote drone delivery technology a reality, applications for drones and the industries they might spur are all the talk these days. Think of your supply chain. Drones wizzing down highways in the sky. The Drone Police – sorry Cheap Trick. While some people are on the edge of their seats, waiting for the day that drones can help their strategies take flight, the sad truth is it might be a while before drones come knocking at our doors.

In the meantime, here’s VL’s completely sarcastic and wholly expert take on what we might be looking forward to once the drones come to town, but don’t expect us to drone on about it.

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Things we (might) be looking forward to when the drones come to town:

When Amazon’s drones finally do come to town, we can likely expect some, if not all, of the following events. Without a doubt. Welcome to the future!

1. A pleasant new background soundtrack to the story of our lives.

And, you thought living next to the highway was bad. Welcome to the world of constant buzzing of drones leaving that 3 pound bag of just the marshmallows from Lucky Charms at your neighbour’s doorstep at 3 AM because they just couldn’t wait for it to be shipped the next day. Think of calling the Drone Police?

The good news: Your neighbour’s weekly cha-cha parties won’t be the worst noise you’ll have to listen to all night long.

2. Even less of a need for human interaction.

Now you barely have to venture out of your house for anything! No need to make awkward eye contact with your neighbour at the mailbox anymore. Just send the drone to go get your junk mail.

The good news: No need to make small talk with Steve pretending like you didn’t know he didn’t invite you to his cha-cha party last weekend. Now you can film it with your drone and watch them all dance..

3. More predictable weather.

“What’s the weather going to be like today?”

“Mild, with a 30% chance of drones blocking out the sun completely.”

The good news: Gingers, albinos, and other people ridiculously prone to sun burns will finally come out of their hiding places to experience the world for the first time.

Also, it might rain free amazon orders pending glitches or Steve with his BB Gun.

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4. New, interesting career opportunities.

Drone retrieval. Drone maintenance. Drone hunters from a post-apocalyptic world a la Mad Max.

Drone exterminators for when they inevitably become self-aware and start nesting in your eaves troughs and on your roof.

5. More first-world problems.

Steve’s going to get a bigger sense of entitlement and instant gratification with his drone deliveries, not that he’s far from it now. So when he comes over to your house looking to borrow a few eggs, you’d better have them waiting by the door or else you’ll be treated to a full-blown man-sized temper tantrum when it takes you longer than 5 seconds to walk from your front door to the fridge.

The good news: We needed more first world problems. Somebody’s got to keep the meme business supplied with new material.

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6. Exercising your dog will become redundant.

My dog chases birds for some reason. When the drones come to town, I only assume I will never need to walk him again. Just open the door and let him rip.

The better news: Maybe the drones can be trained to pick up his poop, too. Now thats progress.

There are likely to be other spin off products that come with the pending invasion of drone deliveries:

1. Deep Woods Drone Off

To keep those pesky drones from swarming around your head on hot, humid summer nights.

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2. Drone-themed Halloween costumes.

They make costumes out of everything else.

3. Drone reality T.V.

“Today on Drone Survivor, our contestants will have to retrieve their delivery of 25 Hollywood-Themed Chihuahua Wigs from the top of their neighbours’ 100 year old oak that our drones mistook for their front doors! Stay tuned to see what happens next!”

Sponsored by Amazon and streamed live over YouTube, obviously.

4. Drone drop hatches.

Christmas can come year-round with your very own drone drop hatch. Never worry about that shifty Steve from down the street stealing your 3 AM impulse buys off your porch swing again.

The better news: blaming drones for when you forget a birthday/anniversary/actual Christmas.

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5. Drone hunting will become a legitimate pastime.

The net-making industry is about to experience a real surge. I suspect more people will take up marksmanship as well.

Hunting dogs trained to sniff out ‘drone’.

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6. Drone warfare.

It’ll be the old west all over again. I can see it now: kids, bored with unlimited online game play, will hit the streets with their techy know-how and drone-mounted BB Guns, looking for a fresh (drone) kill.

The gaming industry might have some stiff competition.

7. The Drone Police.

Think of the new self driving car you just bought. When it goes haywire the drone police will descend on you swarming the car and trying to jam its controls. Not sure how the insurance company will react and who gets charged for dangerous driving.

And finally, here’s my list of the top people who are likely most excited for the drone invasion:
  • People who are afraid to go outside
  • People who never want to go outside again
  • People who are into drones for the novelty
  • People who are into drones for the ‘free’ spare parts (a la Mathew McConaughey ripping off a drone in Interstellar)
  • People who used to be into watching planes take off but now are into drones
  • People who used to bird watch who now drone-watch after all the noise from drones scares their birds off (“Oh Sally, it’s a red Amazon Prime model 3.0.112B! So beautiful in it’s fall plumage!”)
  • People who want to practice their aim
  • Extremely territorial pets – dogs, cats, feral children
  • People who are too impatient to wait until the next day to receive whatever nonsense they ordered off of Amazon. Like Unicorn Meat.
  • Steve trying to hack the drone’s API via WIFI.

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Back to reality.

In all seriousness, even though drones are a hot topic of discussion these days, the implementation of this technology is still a ways off. This satirical article hopefully highlights all the potential issues Amazon and others looking to use drones as part of their omnichannel offerings will have to negotiate over the coming years.

It’s clear that two of the biggest constraints to drone technology becoming part of our everyday lives will be both security during transport and air space clearance. Even though Canada is considered a third world country by Netflix in terms of broadband internet ranking (source), we’re is actually helping pioneer drone technology by allowing its airspace for testing new drones (source). Not sure what this says about our airspace security, though.

In any case, if your business is holding it’s breath for drone delivery technology to come to fruition, you’d be better off investing your time, money, hopes, and dreams somewhere else. Drone technology is still years and years away from being green-lighted by governments (source).

But if drones are what you’re looking forward to for your business, consider alternatives to make your business smart-busy in the meantime. Omni-channel retailing is a definite trend for the future of commerce, and getting every last drop of usefulness out of your data is going to be a growing competitive advantage as people continue to create more and more data every year. Build a sturdy foundation for your business to scale on now by integrating your systems and applications, saving your business time and money. Which then frees you up to continue dreaming about drones.


 Want to talk to VL about integration now so you can have your drones later? Book a consultation:

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