A young girl asks her father for a new pair of soccer cleats ahead of the big game - today. How will she get the shoes in 30 minutes or less? Cue the drones. On Sunday, Amazon released a promotional video for Amazon Prime Air, the company's proposed drone delivery service.
The video shows the family ordering the shoes from Amazon on their tablet, and soon a drone is deployed. Rising up nearly 400 feet above the ground, the drone is shown assuming a horizontal orientation before streaking through the sky like a fast, miniature plane. Once the drone hovers over its destination, it uses its "sense-and-avoid" technology to pinpoint potential ground obstructions from the air. After scanning the landing area for possible hazards, the drone drops slowly to the ground and deposits its cargo.
These impressive views of the drone delivery system are not part of a computer simulation, but actual test flight footage. Amazon began conducting test flights in Australia last year.
"You watch it (the video) and think, 'Oh my gosh, this is so great,'" NewYorker.com Editor Nicholas Thompson told CBS News. "Whatever you want, you don't have to worry about the truck going down the road getting stuck in traffic. It will just be there. And then you think, 'Wait a second, that might be my neighbor ordering a set of shoes and my other neighbor ordering a burrito and, like, what's the world going to be like when there are drones flying everywhere?'"
A future of delivery drones crisscrossing the sky is still off in the future. In the U.S., the FAA is developing new regulations to govern drone flights, which are not currently allowed for commercial purposes. Amazon writes on its website that it will deploy the system "when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision."
"This is a super interesting moment we are coming into," Thompson added. "We will absolutely have drone delivery -- it's moving very quickly. We're going to be figuring out the regulations over the next bit of time."