Amazon's Delivery Drones May Only Be a Year Away

Illustration for article titled Amazon's Delivery Drones May Only Be a Year Away

On December 1, 2013, to much fanfare and next-level hype, Jeff Bezos announced Amazon Prime Air on 60 Minutes. The idea seemed insane, implausible really, due to a bunch of air space regulation that hadn’t even been thought of yet. But now that regulation is beginning to shape up, and Amazon says it’s ready.


Technology is filled with all kinds of rumors and speculation — real and fabricated. BitStream collects all those whispers into one place to deliver your morning buzz.

Yesterday, Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker said that “within a year” a plan would be in place for commercial drones to operate in a public space. Reuters followed the announcement up with a very short report saying that Amazon “expects to have drone technology ready” as soon as these plans are announced. It would seem that something that appeared to be an insane idea might be taking one huge step toward actually happening.

But until an autonomous drone gingerly drops my latest Amazon buying binge on my doorstep, I’m going to remain a skeptic. [Engadget/Reuters]

GarageBand Gets Connected: Apple Music goes live June 30. GarageBand, a popular music-making app, gets a major update June 30. Coincidence? NOPE. According to Create Digital Music, GarageBand is expected to be integrated with Apple Music Connect—basically a MySpace for musicians built into Apple Music—so you can upload songs directly. Pretty “woah” if true.

iPhone Soothsaying: Apple’s famous tech fortune teller, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, says the next iPhone could be a teeny bit thicker and longer than current iPhone 6, but those extra millimeters may be packing in some Force Touch tech, a better battery, and finally eliminating that stupid camera bump. Death to camera bumps!

Twitter Gets Smarter: Yesterday, Twitter acquired Whetlab, a company that Twitter says will accelerate its “machine learning efforts.” Although that is frustratingly vague, the one (and most probable) use case will be for moderation, specifically to guard against trolls and weed out abusive comments before they’re even seen by anyone—which companies have been known to do before. [Twitter]


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Considering so many mapping companies can’t get basic addresses right, I have to suspect that something other than a simple street address will be required for this to work. Considering house numbers are sometimes hundreds of feet off of their real location, or on the wrong side of the street in the map data, that info simply wouldn't be sufficient. And considering an address maps a location along a street, how does it know where my porch is or, even more basic, what constitutes my yard?