As the Cyber Monday rush hit Amazon fulfillment centers around the country, the company announced it's working on the delivery method of the future: packages delivered via drone from warehouse to doorsteps within 30 minutes of ordering.
"It's tremendous and the fact that Amazon is behind it, lends legitimacy," said University of Texas engineering professor Todd Humphreys.
He's researched and created unmanned aerial devices and knew it was only a matter of time before someone proposed using this technology for delivery.
Amazon's Prime Air octocopters, as they're being called, would no doubt need very sophisticated navigation systems, raising privacy and safety concerns.
"The question is whether someone with enough clout like Amazon could convince government operators to allow it."
Colin Guinn, CEO of DJI Innovations North America, understands the concerns, but says drones are here to stay. DJI engineers unmanned aerial systems with high end cameras for commercial and private use. He's worked with lawmakers to help develop laws concerning drones.
"The FAA is working hard to come up with their regulations to keep the national air space safe and I think it's important for manufactures like us to work closely with the FAA to make sure that unmanned aerial systems are integrated safely."
But, while drone delivery is creating a lot of buzz, it likely won't be reality any time soon. "I don't think they'll come out with rules that will allow this kind of behavior until 2020 at the earliest," says Humphreys.
The FAA is working to develop regulations regarding drones by 2015. According to Amazon, they'll be ready.