Game of drones: Google readies Project Wing against Amazon's Prime Air

Summary:The competition between Amazon Prime and Google Shopping Express is about to really takeoff.

As the concept of the sharing economy continues to take hold of the tech world, delivery-themed startups are at the forefront.

Presently, this is more along the lines of delivering food, groceries, and other services. Think Instacart, Postmates, and now even Uber with its various bike messenger and corner store beta offerings .

But in the grand scheme of things, these guys are all small potatoes compared to the brand recognition, customer bases, and just overall grasp of Google and Amazon.

Each of these tech giants already have their own delivery entries (Amazon Prime and Google Shopping Express).

But even these programs are poised for complete revolution as we know them.

Last November, Amazon unveiled a Prime-branded drone delivery program -- much to the simultaneous amazement and cautious fear of consumers everywhere.

Dubbed Prime Air , the technology is much more than a simple dream but not quite ready for action yet. Nevertheless, the Seattle-headquartered company is aiming for takeoff within a few years.

And when Prime Air lifts off, Google plans to be right there to go head-to-head.

Enter Project Wing, the latest development to break free from the secretive Google X lab (where Google Glass was developed).

Revealed by The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal on Thursday, Google's entry into this outlandish game of drones has been in development for two years. If and when this thing launches, it is boasted to be able to deliver products across town "within a minute or two."

It's debatable what we might end up seeing on the market (or the roads and skies) first: Google's self-driving car or these automated aircrafts.

Project Wing's lofty delivery goals also remain to be proven, but the business potential and repercussions are almost endless.

Needless to say, in the weeks, months, and years to come, we can prepare ourselves for continuous debates about what this means for air safety, the stability of mom-and-pop shops versus these behemoth sellers, data privacy, and inevitably what these firestorms always come back to these days: Google's plans to take over the world. Per usual.

For a closer look at Google's experiments with drone deliveries, check out the clip from our sister site CNET below:

Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Google, Hardware, Tech Industry


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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