The Talk

Droning on about new delivery technology

- Last modified: December 3, 2013 at 12:27 PM

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Delivery drones? Could they be a thing of the future?

Maybe…

But, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Technology is allowing us to do all kinds of exciting things today – teleconferencing to the other side of the world in full high-definition; defibrillators in public buildings; single-cup coffee brewers; shopping on your cellphone.

But there are also some drawbacks. Apple’s Facetime, for example, surely is an excellent idea.

I know my parents love being able to use their iPad to Facetime the grandkids in Syracuse. It lets them see those adorable little faces from 200 miles away.

But what if you’re not so cute?

My husband equates Facetiming me from a business trip to forcing me to look at a live version of his driver’s license photo for five minutes. I’m sure the view isn’t any better on his end when he calls me late at night and I’m snuggled up in my jammies with curlers in my hair and my face slathered in moisturizer like a parody of a 1950s housewife.

My skewed opinion of that particular visual communication technology came to a comic head last week when my husband “pocket” Facetimed me.

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow he turned Facetime on without knowing it.

The phone on my desk buzzed and then went blank and then a fuzzy image of I’m-not-sure-what showed up on the screen.

The next few minutes were filled with a rather humorous game of “what am I looking at?” with me shouting “HONEY! I think I’m in your pocket!”

So, even good technology can go bad.

This was my first thought when I saw the “60 Minutes” report on Amazon when CEO Jeff Bezos said that in the not-to-distant future the e-retailer would be using drones to deliver packages.

While the news certainly got some sci-fi loving nerd hearts all aflutter, the possibilities for disaster seem endless.

I immediately imagined getting bonked on the head while trying to over-eagerly accept a package, or chasing a drone down the street because it was going to the wrong address. Seriously, would a strong wind gust leave the Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots I ordered for my nephew stuck dangling from the branches of my maple tree?

Social media and news sites have weighed in ranging from excitement to skepticism to full-on calls of “hooey.”

As much as I love the idea of space-age technology, I think I must side with the skeptics on this one. I don’t see how drone delivery can happen without creating more problems than it solves.

Besides, I’m still waiting for my jetpack, and I think scientists should be working harder to get that technology to us instead.

 

 

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe covers technology and trends plus keeps you up to date on what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler and on social media. Reach her at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook and circle her on Google+.

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