Samsung’s new partnership offers another glimpse into the future of drone delivery, in just one Irish city


In Oranmore, a small town in County Galway, Ireland, you can now experience a possible and instantly rewarding drone delivery future. In a recently announced partnership with Irish drone delivery company Manna, Samsung promises to deliver its smallest electronic devices, such as phones and smartwatches, “in three minutes” when ordered by someone in Oranmore from the Irish online store. Samsung.

Manna uses “custom-developed aerospace drones” to complete deliveries, according to Samsung’s announcement. The drones’ ability to travel at speeds of more than 60 kilometers per hour (around 37 miles per hour) appears to be what guarantees those aggressive delivery times, although operating only within a two kilometer radius of their dispatch center. it probably helps too.

However, Samsung and Manna are not breaking new ground with their partnership. People who live in Oranmore may already be familiar with Manna’s drones that deliver everything from groceries to medicine, thanks to a deal Manna struck with supermarket chain Tesco in 2020.

A Samsung phone is packed for shipment with a Manna drone.
Image: Samsung

Both Samsung and Manna say they are “interested” in expanding the delivery service across the country, but outside of Ireland, other companies have been experimenting with drones as well. Amazon began testing its drones in the UK after receiving regulatory approval in 2016. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also began approving other small-scale tests, such as a partnership of UPS and CVS to deliver prescriptions to a retirement home in Florida and a Walmart trial in North Carolina.

All of these tests seem to serve what is starting to seem like an inevitable reality: next-day shipping is more like next-minute shipping. Regulators must agree to standards for drone flights for that to happen, and in the FAA’s case, freedom to fly will require new identification systems to determine ownership. It may all seem a long way off given the pace of government, but like this Samsung hack, there are more and more examples where that possible future is bleeding into the present.

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