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The Good and Bad of How Covid 19 will Shape Technology
Technology has been a regular part of our lives for a very long time. We enjoy the luxury of automation on many levels and have not given the convenience of automation a second thought. We push a button multiple times a day, to do everyday things like make coffee, cook our bacon and eggs, and send a message to someone we are thinking about.
Even before Covid-19, we could do most things from home because of the convenience of technology. In many homes, pushing buttons is not even necessary and the convenience of technology allows one to simply call on “Alexa” to turn on the heat, lights, T.V. and make a phone call.
The list goes on for the many way’s technology has shaped our lives simply because we all have a computer in our pocket. However, AI technology (like drones and robots) have long been the stuff only portrayed in science fiction movies.
Well, until now…
Tipping not necessary
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery robots were readily seen delivering items on large college campuses around the world. The company, Starship, brags that they help campuses save time, tackle distances, and open up space. This convenience can be accessed on one’s phone App at the push of a button.
However, since the stay at home order, hundreds of robots have been deployed to deliver takeout to those quarantined. If life does not return to normal, or we have a relapse in the Fall, it will be easy to see how this number could soar to the millions and eventually into the billions.
Taking care of boomers
Not only do we have robots delivering food and packages, but drones are now delivering medicine from pharmacies to homes. Originally designed to cater to those who are unable to leave their homes due to limited mobility, this technology has seen new growth because of COVID-19 and provides a needed service to those who are listed in the higher risk category.
It’s also good to know that Alexa is being used by seniors who need a reminder to take their medications. In addition, drones are now being used to deliver hospitals crucial medical supplies at a fraction of the cost. This service takes place 24/7, 365 days/year as cited by Tech That Matters.
Although Amazon has recently emerged as one of the most successful companies in the world, would it surprise you to know it has been around for 25 years? One might think this company became profitable by streamlining home delivery. However, this is not Amazon’s business model.
If you remember, Amazon only sold books in the beginning and was the first company that allowed readers to leave reviews. Although this was controversial 25 years ago and much to the dismay of sellers, they were forced to improve their products if they wanted to sell on the platform.
Therefore, you can see why Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, states he is not in the delivery business or the business of selling products, but rather Amazon’s goal is to “help consumers make better shopping decisions”.
Robots and drones
Amazon was already using the above-mentioned technology of robots and drones before the Covid-19 outbreak and is in fact looking to install docking stations on light posts for their drones to recharge.
One might think the CEO, Jeff Bezos, modeled his successful business after other successful delivery businesses, but it is obvious that Amazon did something different. They did not focus on their competition they focused on their customers. Bezos, knowing that humans are “divinely discontent”, models his technology designs around this fact and welcomes the challenge of always being one step behind what consumers want.
This brings us to the future of technology delivery and Amazon City
You stay home
Amazon has been building their own land, sea, and air delivery systems long before the pandemic, but are about to capitalize on it in a big way.
Amazon currently operates cargo ships between China and the U.S. In addition, they have 300 semi-trucks, and have you seen sleek blue delivery vans with the Mercedes emblem? Well, there are 20,000 of them. Using their own fleet of Uber drivers for “Amazon Now”, the 2-hour delivery service saves you a trip to the store and allows you to shelter in place.
Land, sea AND air
Amazon can also boast of owning their own fleet of 50 planes, which allows Amazon to send packages around the U.S. faster. Amazon continues to increase the number of their fulfillment centers, which by the way, are converted old shopping malls due to their great locations of populated areas, enabling the delivery of their packages to customers even faster.
It is also important to mention that shopping malls have been going out of business because of such giant’s like Amazon and the explosion of online shopping. These fulfillment centers currently employ 250,000 workers and 100,000 robots.
It’s important to mention that Amazon purchased the robotics company Kiva long before the pandemic, but you can imagine how convenient it must be to have robots working in the fulfillment centers when social distancing is a concern.
So, two-hour delivery is certainly a luxury we all have become accustomed to, but Amazon’s future is looking to drone delivery to cut down this delivery time by 30 minutes. The long list of innovative ideas and patents already filed by the internet conglomerate is positioning Amazon to be at the forefront of industry technology.
Oh, and did we mention they are currently working on a waist-high robot taking their success of Alexa to an entirely new level.
Here to stay...
You can choose to embrace technology or not, but it looks like the future of drones and robots are on the rise and here to stay with or without the pandemic.
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