My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: SF Express Drones in China Deliver Cake and Zookal Drones deliver Rental Textbooks

Friday, October 18, 2013

SF Express Drones in China Deliver Cake and Zookal Drones deliver Rental Textbooks

In my Geezam blog article entitledSkycam Jamaica Aerial Photography marks possible Revival of Package Delivery in the Jamaica Postal Service” I pointed out one civilian use of Drones or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). Normally, these remotely controlled flying critters are usually associated with Police and Military Surveillance.

Ironically, the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) and even the JDF (Jamaica Defense Force) need to reduce the cost of routine aerial surveillance as stated in my blog article entitled “GOJ can develope UAV's as a means of giving the Police eyes in the sky - Inspiration for Aviators in Jamaica via G.I. Joe Retaliation” via adopting the use of Drones. Curiously, here in Jamaica commercial interests in the form of SkyCam Jamaica have beaten them to an obvious use: Aerial Photography!

But one other use of Drones had popped up in South Africa and the US of A. This was in the form of Drones at the OppiKoppi Music Festival to deliver Beer to festival party-goers and in the USA involving the delivery of pizza by Domino’s via their DomiCopter as stated in  “Beer drone using GPS will deliver frosty brew at music festival”, published May 7, 2013 By Mike Flacy, Digitaltrends and “Domino’s Pizza is testing pizza-delivering drones”, published June 4, 2013 by Mike Flacy, Digitaltrends respectively.

This folks may be the future of the Post Office: Personalized One-Day Package Delivery!

It is that use of Drones that would spell the low-cost revive of the Postal Delivery System in Jamaica in both the Cities as well as the Town and Rural Areas of Jamaica. This as using Drones is cheaper, faster and thus more efficient for delivering Packages than even using Postmen and even Delivery Bikemen in places such as New Kingston or eve in Rural Jamaica.

It won’t be long before Drone Deliver Services begin to proliferate in Jamaica. Our American cousins up North, however, are still contemplating regulatory issues with the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) for a decision in 2015 as apparently these craft do have Police and Military Surveillance capabilities as stated in “Drones Will Be Admitted to Standard US Airspace By 2015”, Posted 02.07.2012 at 2:02 pm By Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science.

But it isn’t hard to imagine them being used to jump-start same day delivery services by companies such as Amazon or Best Buy in the US of A or even our Online Shopping Shipping Services here in Jamaica as stated in my blog article entitled “How to purchase items and subscribe to Magazines online and ship them to Jamaica” and my Geezam blog article entitled “How to ship things to Jamaica after you’re purchase them online” at costs lower and faster deliver times than is currently possible!

Drones delivering Cakes in China – The Great Drone Army of China

Already in China, Drones are used to deliver presents such as Birthday Cakes for persons celebrating a birthday as stated in the article “Drones in China deliver packages, even a birthday cake”, published September 5, 2013 11:20 AM PDT by Nick Statt, CNET News. A Parcel Service named SF Express does a Drone Delivery service in the Chinese city of Dongguang.

Granted, it’s not straight legal in all parts of China, despite China regarding such service as legit business. In early July 2013 a service called InCake started the World’s first Drone based Cake Delivery system in the World in Shanghai, China.

However, their business model got shot down literally by residents in Shanghai worried that the Craft might buckle under the weight of that load as stated in the article “Pie in the sky: Chinese authorities shoot down world's first cake drones” published 27 Jul 2013 2:53PM By Malcolm Moore, UK Telegraph. Check out the Cake Delivery Service by InCake here in action:

SF Express has no such worries as based on the Chinese Media Reports in CARNOC news in case you don’t believe me an can read Chinese as its fleet of octa-copters (that’s 8 rotors!) are apparently very strong, capable of lifting 6.5lb and can fly at heights of 328 ft in the air and land with precision within two (2) meters of the customer. 

Most likely, the service is available to customers that have Internet access on a Laptop or Computer to make the order, with SF Express working out their location based on their address on Google Maps. Similarly, they could also have a free App that allows the customer to make the order thus allow delivery and control of the Drone’s descent to the customer in order for them to get the Cake Package.

Most likely too, the delivery are being watched remotely via a Cameras connected to a Central NOC (Network Operation Center) to ensure that the Drones do their job and don’t land and damage themselves, albeit their programming in the future can be made autonomous i.e. fly completely by themselves.

Australian company Delivers Rented Textbooks – College Rentals made Flirty

In Australia a joint-venture between textbook rental start-up Zookal and aerial-technology startup Flirtey is set to begin a Textbook Rental Service in Sydney, Australia in March 2014 as stated in “Australian textbook delivery, care of Drones”, published October 16, 2013 11:23 AM PDT by Michelle Starr, CNET News.

Zookal CEO and Flirtey co-founder Ahmed Haider has plans to begin testing in November 2013 using University of Sydney Students while seeking approval from Australia’s Aviation Authority, which has encouraged the promulgation of the Drone Industry via creating a new Weight class for Deliveries under 2.0 Kg (4.4 lb) via UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). The savings, as before, are due to the speed and cost of same-day delivery, oweing to the fact that the Drones are unmanned and fly under their own guidance via GPS sans employees to deliver the packages!

To quote Zookal CEO and Flirtey co-founder Ahmed Haider: “This joint venture with Flirtey gives us an opportunity to provide a significantly faster and more efficient delivery of goods, while reducing our ecological footprint and costs. We expect the use of Drones will cut our delivery costs from AU$8.60 to 80 cents per delivery, and because they are battery powered, the environmental impact is minimal”

Their delivery Drones are a fleet of six Hexa-copters (that’s six rotors!) and is a bit more sophisticated as it involves potential customers having a smartphone and an app to be able to receive deliveries anywhere the Students are located.

The App helps by allowing the customer to give their GPS Coordinates for the Textbook delivery and then control the descent of the Drone to ensure delivery of the Textbooks as described in “New Drone service delivers textbook rentals to college students”, published October 16, 2013 by Mike Flacy, DigitalTrends.

Jamaica and Drones – Same Day Delivery of Packages  
The potential for similar usage of Drones in Jamaican cannot be overlooked. Already we have a start-up SkyCam Jamaica that’s making waves since the start of 2013 in the field of Aerial Photography. It’s not hard to see their services being rented by Traditional Media outlets such as Television Jamaica, CVM TV, The Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer to do aerial shots or even investigations that require the use of aerial photography.

But with the increasing interest in smartphones and Blackberry this Christmas as stated in my blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy smartphones and Blackberrys are tops on Jamaican Searches according to Google Trends - Importation Guide to Selling smartphone to Jamaicans”, it’s a perfect storm for the introduction of Personal One-Day Delivery Service or even for the GOJ to use Drones to revive the dead and dying Postal Service!

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