Don’t read this on an empty stomach.
Google parent company Alphabet reportedly wants to create an online drone delivery marketplace for food for a $6 fee, calling it the “Wing Marketplace.” Project Wing, the group behind Alphabet’s drone development unit, exists as part of Alphabet’s work to develop nascent technologies.
The tech giant has reportedly met with Domino’s Pizza, Whole Foods, Starbucks and a number of other fast-food chains and restaurants, said The Wall Street Journal, to attempt to gather support to get the Wing Marketplace off the ground (pun 100 percent intended).
These recent talks are the latest in a long list of delivery and food-related endeavors — Chipotle burrito with guac, anyone? — for Project Wing’s drone delivery program. Competition has been heating up in the drone delivery market across worldwide tech and eCommerce giants over the past few years — once people actually started taking the idea of drone delivery seriously.
Alibaba, Amazon and Facebook all have drone programs at various stages of development and importance. Alibaba and Amazon are drone delivery competitors to Alphabet, and Facebook’s Aquila drones are part of an internet-proliferating humanitarian effort.
While consumers in the U.S. have been teased (and tempted) by pizza- and package-delivering drones for what seems like ages, New Zealanders don’t have to wait any longer to snag some Domino’s. Stateside, aviation regulations have been putting a damper on drone use since 2015. The FAA has recently relaxed a bit on the subject, clearing some small drones for commercial use.
All told, it could still take awhile before pizza-lovers stateside get a chance to watch their dinner approach over the horizon or internet users get Wi-Fi beamed to their homes from 90,000 feet up.
But it’s only a matter of time. And once it’s available, watch out. Pretty much everyone will want a piece.