This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

June 26, 2013

Flying Pizzas and Other Faster-Food

We are all aware of the military uses for drones to target terrorists and drop bombs. However, most of us have never given much thought to more benign uses for the products.

Besides being toys for wealthy adults to spy on the local squirrel population or the unsuspecting neighbors, these complicated multi-engine copters have other uses, too. Priced from about $300USD, these difficult-to-master playthings have multiple uses most of us never dreamed of.

Last month, Dominos¨ Pizza hired an English creative agency T + Biscuits to test the prototype of a small custom-built octacopter. The drone made a 10-minute flight through the city of Guildford, outside of London with some special cargo---two large pepperoni pizzas.

Dominos and its agency wanted to compete with the famous TacoCopter---a taco delivery app that, to everyone's disappointment, turned out to be just a concept design.

Named the "DomiCopter", this prototype is "the real deal", though you probably won't see flying pizzas in your local area anytime soon. There are all sorts of hurdles to be overcome, including logistics and safety regulations. Dominos obviously garnered a lot of publicity with its demonstration, however there are no plans to commercialize this new delivery method in the near future.

The video shows two large, hot, pepperoni pizzas being boxed, stacked, and positioned in a thermal insulated bag. Then the team placed the package onboard the hexacopter. Operated by an experienced drone pilot, the copter travelled about 4 miles to a waiting "customer".

The team reported the delivery was a success; the two pies arrived at the other end in excellent shape. Obviously, it flew more quickly than a pizza delivery person, because it flew "as a crow flies", not following city streets.

An octocopter version of the machine is currently in residence at Domino's UK headquarters, where it's being outfitted to carry heavier loads, including two pizzas plus a large bottle of Coke.

Expect to see other applications of drone and additional leading-edge technologies to eliminate workers. One of the applications we foresee for this drone technology is the delivery of consumer advertising messages.

To watch the YouTube video of this flying pizza delivery, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw-LNwuTSY8.


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