Online retail giant Amazon sparked a marketing frenzy Monday in announcing a project to use flying objects more associated with warfare to deliver packages, maintaining it could be up and running within five years.
But Deutsche Post said on Thursday it too has a project that predates Amazon's, though the scheme is in its early stages.
"This is only a beginning," a Deutsche Post spokeswoman said, with the focus for now on using drones for home delivery of medicine.
Amazon on Sunday posted a video on its website showing a prototype. The body of the device is about the size of a flat-screen TV with eight small helicopter rotors lifting it in the air.
"I know this looks like science fiction. It's not," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told US broadcaster CBS when revealing the project.
US media reported that delivery giant UPS is also researching drone home delivery.
The technology has been tested and proven to work, so it is not surprising that the likes of Amazon, Deutsche Post and UPS are planning to use it:
The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by a US drone strike on Friday, Pakistani intelligence officials told Reuters anonymously. Senior sources within the militant group confirmed the death.
There might of course be slight a problem in the receiving end for certain customers: How to know whether it is your latest Amazon order arriving or a delivery from quite another type of US "company"?
This postman never rings twice.