Samsung’s new partnership offers another glimpse of a drone delivery future — in only one Irish town

In Oranmore, a small town in Galway County, Ireland, you can now taste the future of satisfying drone delivery as soon as possible. In a newly announced partnership with Irish drone delivery company Manna, Samsung has promised that Samsung’s Irish online store will deliver small electronic products such as mobile phones and smart watches “within three minutes” when someone in Oranmore orders them.

According to Samsung’s announcement, the delivery will be completed using a “custom-developed aerospace drone”. The drone’s ability to travel at speeds of more than 60 kilometers per hour (approximately 37 miles per hour) seems to guarantee this aggressive delivery time, but it would also be helpful to operate within a two-kilometer radius of the dispatch center.

However, the partnership with Samsung doesn’t exactly open up new horizons. People living in Oranmore will already be familiar with Manna’s drones, which offer everything from groceries to pharmaceuticals, thanks to a deal with Manna signed with grocery chain Tesco in 2020.

A Samsung mobile phone that is packaged for delivery with a manna drone.
Image: Samsung

Everyone with Samsung says they want to expand their delivery service nationwide, but companies other than Ireland are also experimenting with drones. Amazon started testing drones in the UK after getting regulatory approvals in 2016. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun approving other small tests such as UPS and CVS partnerships to deliver prescriptions. Test run by retirement homes in Florida and Wal-Mart in North Carolina.

All of these tests seem to be services that start to feel like an inevitable reality. Next business day delivery will be similar to next minute delivery. Regulatory authorities must agree on drone flight standards to realize this, and in the case of FAA, freedom of flight requires a new identification system to determine ownership. Given the speed of the government, everything may seem like a long way, but there are more and more examples of possible futures flowing into the present, like this Samsung stunt.

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