Somewhere right now, Jeff Bezos is getting a celebratory head-shining, grinning as the YouTube views pile up.
The Amazon CEO unveiled the "Amazon Prime Air" delivery service last night on 60 Minutes to the collective bewilderment of the internet. Bezos claims that as early as 2015, octocopter automated drones will be able to air-deliver packages 5 lbs and under from an Amazon warehouse to your home within 30 minutes.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported in November that the FAA isn't looking to start certifying commercial drones for US Airspace until 2020. So why is Bezos announcing this now?
Today is Cyber Monday, one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. Thanks to the 3.5 million views the Amazon Prime Air video has racked up in half a day, Amazon.com is probably getting an insane amount of traffic.
As Business Insider reports, the over 15 minute segment 60 Minutes gave Amazon last night amounts to about $3 million in free advertising for the company (given that a normal 30-second TV ad spot costs about about $100,000).
Business Insider also compiled a list of previous "drone delivery" PR stunts companies have pulled, which include a Dominos pizza delivery drone, a "TacoCopter" and a beer drone designed for music festivals.
All this seems to add up to a well-calculated PR stunt for Amazon—a strategic way to stoke interest in the site during one of the online retailer's most important sales days. Either way, the technology for the drone delivery service isn't farfetched at all, meaning we likely will see the advent of these deliverybots one day.
No word yet on whether or not the Prime Air drones will be equipped to combat the Tacocopters.