The idea of contactless drone deliveries gained a lot more momentum soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and millions started practicing social distancing. Now, Samsung is teaming up with Manna Drone Delivery to help get some of its products to customers the same way.
The drone delivery service is only available in the town of Oranmore, Ireland, for the time being, but Samsung says there are plans to expand the service across Ireland. “The new service, which is a first for Samsung globally, will facilitate an end-to-end contactless experience for Samsung customers from their initial online order through the company’s Irish eStore, right through to fulfillment,” the press statement reads.
The service is only available for the Galaxy series of devices, which means Oranmore residents can receive the Galaxy Tab S7, Watch 3, Buds Pro, and S21 Ultra.
Speedy Gonzales in the air — Manna states that its custom-manufactured drones are capable of delivering products within three minutes. The aircraft flies at an altitude of 164 feet to 262 feet and at speeds of more than 37 mph. The CTO of Manna says, "To date, we have been working with [supermarket chain] Tesco and local businesses to deliver grocery, hot food, books, and pharmacy items, to people in the area.”
Competition in the drone market is vicious. For several years now, China has dominated the international market with its drone manufacturing capabilities. In 2018, CNN dubbed China the “world leader” of drone manufacturing, pointing to its global customer base. Still, the cutthroat race to the top of the drone market hasn't discouraged couriers like UPS and tech giants like Amazon from working on their own services.
Of course, these companies have to contend with regulatory hurdles. In the United States, for instance, drones are divided up into recreational, governmental, and commercial aircraft, and are subject to varying federal rules accordingly. But the bureaucracy surrounding drones — be it American or Irish — isn’t going to stop companies from trying to stake their claims in what could be a potential area of new business. Samsung and Manna’s collaboration is the latest proof of that.