Twenty-five percent of online orders are delivered by drone. Many of these drones are fitted with cameras and other sensors to collect data as they fly over neighborhoods, providing an additional revenue stream for shippers and merchants. Individuals who opt for free, unlimited drone delivery consent to the collection of data from their homes and yards. Entire neighborhoods where drone delivery is legally permitted are subject to the same data collection activities—even though not all of their individual residents or households have explicitly consented.
–from Forecasting Skills: See the Future Before it Happens course by Institute for the Future
The Institute for the Future presented some guide questions to keep the conversation going. Here are my responses:
What new things might happen in this future, that can’t happen today?
In this future, retail distribution will wear a new face. Where ‘now‘ seems faster than ever such that you will get your parcel delivered within minutes (from the usual days of shipping). I can also imagine people will be even more particular about how fast they should get deliveries.
This will also shape the face of privacy. People who opted-in to the service will exchange their privacy for efficiency and ease. The entire neighborhood data collection will also be a point of concern for those who opted-out of the service.
What would you be excited about in this future?
I am excited about how this innovation will enable speedy delivery in places where parcel delivery is essential and urgent. This will also give new meaning to disaster response.
What would you worry about in this future?
I worry about the misuse of data when on the wrong hands. Drone hacking would also be a nightmare in which the parcel you have spent significant money on won’t be arriving at your door. Or worse, the drone will be weaponized.
Who benefits in this future?
Delivery services and tech giants will benefit in this future. And since data will be pouring in, who holds the data will become powerful than ever.
Who is at a disadvantage in this future?
People who opt-out of the service will be at a disadvantage in this future. They will only have a false sense of decision – a decision which didn’t matter for the eye in the sky.
Do you share the same sentiments like I do? Let’s keep the conversation going! Feel free to message me here or share this post with a friend.
To read more about this kind of future, here are some of the recent updates on delivery drones: