the news of amazon prime air is not all that surprising. jason kottke predicted it almost a year ago while riffing on john robb’s dronenet post. the use case amazon touts of getting packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less is actually the least interesting case or, more correctly, might be a classic red herring. amazon is building major fulfillment center locations within a 25 – 50 mile radius of the top 20 major metropolitan markets in the US to use efficient 3rd party fleets for same day delivery of purchases. i gather it knows that using drones to compete with 3rd party fleets for one time outbound delivery for purchases will never make economic sense. but what if it expects purchases to eventually make many round trips and that you’ll want to schedule those trips within 30 minutes – think easy access to a “closet in the sky”. in building those distribution centers, amazon will have excess storage capacity that it can use to offer “storage as a service” for purchases – i.e. real world “cloud” storage. sound crazy? makespace is already doing something similar in new york sans drones and wants to become the dropbox for real life. makespace is working on a way give friends access to storage so they can borrow from your makespace box. i assume amazon could do something similar and eventually develop a service platform for larger scale resource sharing as it creates the uber for everything. the class of purchases where this would work today is small. print books and a bookshelf in the sky is one place to start.