While Amazon tries to figure out where to test its highly publicized Prime Air drone delivery service so it can change the way we receive handheld electronics, other companies are trying to use drones to deliver other services. Zookal is flying rented text books to university students in Australia, DHL is flying medication to patients in Germany, and last week, a video made its rounds online of a concept for an ambulance drone.
This week, two more companies have made their way into the spotlight.
Peer-to-Peer Drone Delivery
London-based Bizzby isn’t trying to beat Amazon at the package delivery by drone game. Instead, Bizzby is applying drone technology to interpersonal delivery.
Did your kids get home from school but forget to take their key? (This never happened to me… it’s just an example, see?)
Just pull up the Bizzby app on your phone, book and summon their quadcopter drone, then give it your keys and send it home.
This concept, called Bizzby Sky, is an extension of Bizzby’s “App Your Service” mobile application.
The drone is capable of carrying payloads of up to about a pound and equipped with some rudimentary collision avoidance sensors. Everything from booking to payment to real-time monitoring of the drone’s flight is done in app. Sort of like an aerial version of Uber for small objects.
“Although it may seem futuristic, technology is advancing rapidly and it’s a matter of time before we’re able to roll the service out to the public,” Bizzby founder and chief executive Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio told The Telegraph in a recent interview.
And talk about scale! If a service like this took off, person-to-person commerce sites like eBay or Craigslist could conceivably build their own drone delivery networks and do away with classic shipping methods.
The Race to Map Africa’s Amazon
Amazon has websites dedicated to at least one country on 5 of the Earth’s 7 continents – North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. But no such site exists for an African market.
“We are currently engaging the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and will also be talking to Ministry of Defence,” Kariuki Maina, Kilimall marketing manager, told Business Daily Africa. “To achieve this vision, Kilimall is exploring and researching how technology can be used to holistically drive change through youth capacity-building and opportunity creation.”
There is still a lot of infrastructure that needs to be worked out, such as safe and efficient online payment methods as well as clear shipping addresses.
As drones are a technology that marries many of Africa’s e-commerce hurdles together, the UAV might just be the vehicle that ushers in some much-needed solutions.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com