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Delivery warfare: Pitting Amazon drones against owls

Posting in Technology

Business is booming for Amazon, but the online retail giant isn't willing to stop there. Taking deliveries further, Amazon wants to deliver our goods in 30 minutes through a delivery-by-drone service.

Speaking to parent company CBS on Sunday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the new service, dubbed Prime Air, which would use "octocopters" to transport small items in rapid time to customers after being picked up from buckets at Amazon's storage centers. The project will be subject to safety and regulatory rules by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, although China is quickly looking to become the first country which will allow commercial delivery by drone.

Whether Amazon's plans are only audacious or merely a publicity stunt, rival retailer Waterstone has jumped on the back of drone deliveries with its own announcement.

A short, amusing video released by the book retailer explains Waterstone's Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service (OWLS), which uses a fleet of trained owls either alone or as an "adorable team" to deliver our goods in the same time frame.

However, just as Amazon's drones will take "four to five years" before taking to the sky, Waterstone's owls will also be a while -- as it takes "ages to train owls to do anything, and we only just thought of it this morning."

Of course, the video below is tongue-in-cheek, but well worth a watch.

Via: ZDNet | The Next Web

Image credit: Flickr

— By on December 2, 2013, 7:24 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure