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Instant Delivery of Online Orders? Yep, It's Here

Imagine sitting on your sofa when you decide that you want to buy something. You choose the perfect item on Amazon.com and select the Prime Air service at checkout. Within 30 minutes, a drone is dropping that package off on your front porch. Pretty cool, right? This may sound like it's straight from a science-fiction movie, but it is very real. Introducing Amazon Prime Air: The future of online shopping.

How does it work?

As long as you are within 10 miles of one of the Amazon fulfillment centers and the item you order weighs less than five pounds, you can have it instantly flown to you by one of Amazon’s unmanned aerial vehicles. As soon as you place your order, it is instantly located and put into a heavy-duty yellow box, that is then picked up by the drone and flown to you based on your GPS location. The good news is that the amount of warehouses Amazon has all over the country is quickly expanding, so by the time Prime Air actually becomes a real thing, there is a very good chance you will be within the delivery radius.

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What’s the point?

Unparalleled customer service, free media attention, a commitment to be the leader of online shopping, global domination: The reasons Amazon has been meticulously developing the Prime Air program are varied, extensive, and probably really only known by Jeff Bezos, the CEO. But Amazon's goal is clear: It wants its Prime Air octocopters, as it calls them, to be just as common as seeing your local mailman driving down the road.

What about the safety of it?

As you can imagine, when a new technology is introduced, there are a lot of unknowns to worry about. Amazon has promised that safety will come above all else in the introduction of its Prime Air service, but there are still plenty of concerns to be had. Will people leave these flying objects alone, or will they become a target for shooting practice? What about if you live in an apartment building or condo and don’t have an exterior front porch? Chances are there will be video capabilities on the drones to stave away vandalism and allow Amazon to prosecute if necessary. There is also talk of a five-minute text message warning so customers can be awaiting the arrival of the octocopter.

When will it come to fruition?

That depends on whom you ask. Some people are estimating the beginning of 2015, others say it is at least four years away, and others say that it is never going to be viable in the real world. However, Amazon has made it clear that its technology is not the hold-up. Since nothing of this caliber has ever been an option, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is having a field day trying to figure out the rules and regulations needed to ensure that the flying robots will be safe. When it does, Amazon will cement its place in history as the first company to offer 30-minute delivery by way of flying drones.