Due to a newly announced partnership of Samsung with Irish drone delivery company Manna, in a small town in County named Oranmore, in Galway, Ireland, you can now get a taste of a possible, instantly-gratifying drone delivery future. The South Korean tech giant promises to deliver its smaller electronics like phones and smartwatches “within three minutes” when ordered from Samsung’s Irish online store in Oranmore.
Manna uses “custom-developed aerospace drones” to complete deliveries, according to Samsung’s announcement. The drones’ ability to travel at speeds over 60 kilometres (approximately 37 miles) per hour seems to be one reason why those aggressive delivery times are guaranteed, though only operating within a two-kilometre radius from their dispatch centre probably helps in the mission too.
However, the partnership is not exactly breaking new grounds. As Manna secured a deal with grocery chain Tesco in 2020, people living in Oranmore may already be familiar with Manna’s drones delivering everything from groceries to medicine.
Both Samsung and Manna say they’re “keen” to expand the delivery service nationwide. Still, outside of Ireland, the competition will be stiff, with other companies experimenting with drones as well. In the United Kingdom, Amazon began testing its drones after receiving regulatory approval in 2016.
In the US, according to The Verge, “the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also started giving out approval for other small-scale tests, like a UPS and CVS partnership to deliver prescriptions to a retirement home in Florida, and a Walmart-run test in North Carolina.”
These tests in various countries by various companies seem to be in service of what’s starting to feel like an inevitable reality: next-minute shipping instead of next-day shipping. The Standard of drone flights needs to be agreed upon by regulators, among other things. It can all seem like a long way off, given the pace of government. However, more and more examples like this Samsung stunt where that possible future is bleeding into the present.