Waterstones announces plan to counter Amazon drones with trained owls
December 2, 2013 | 12:08 pm
The Internet has been abuzz ever since Amazon announced it was looking into the use of drones to deliver lightweight packages to customers near its distribution centers. Personally, it sounds like another one of those things that is more about the publicity than the service. Amazon’s storage lockers are still unavailable to the vast majority of Amazon customers, two years after they were first introduced. Likewise, Amazon doesn’t have that many distribution centers, so almost nobody would be able to take advantage of this service if it existed. (Gizmodo would tend to agree.)
That being said, British chain Waterstones has come up with a particularly clever response to the Amazon announcement. It has announced it is looking into a service of its own, entitled the “Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service.” This service would consist of specially-trained owls who would carry light packages to customers’ addresses. (“Yes,” the FAQ notes, “this is exactly what they did in Harry Potter. You’re asking that as if this is a bad thing.”)
I’m not positive, but I suspect Waterstones may not be entirely serious. Though, either way, it seems about as likely to happen as Amazon’s delivery drone service.