Vice President, Rational Smarter Product Development
IBM Software Group
Last night on 60 Minutes, Jeff Bezos gave a talk of the future, including the possibility of delivering packages with drone aircraft. A few years ago, drones were most heavily associated with the next generation of warfare. But, the reality is that the technology that enables long range, automated flight, will also enables a new class of services that until recently were only science fiction. Ensuring safety with thousands of drone aircraft flying around neighborhoods is a complex challenge to say the least. Apparently, the FAA is already looking at ways to expand civilian use of drones by 2015 (http://rt.com/usa/us-drones-internal-use-419/ ).
Beyond the technical challengs, there are the financial opportunties this creates. Creating safe, approved air routes along with long range vehicles will continue to change the economics of online shopping. Once the cost to deliver packages decreases sufficiently, it could go a long way to further wiping out brick and mortar stores. If these innovations continue, the world will look very different in 10 years!