Experimental Crocs Store In Tokyo Brings You Shoes With Drone

shoesdronecrocsIf you’ve always thought that shoe stores would be improved by replacing salespeople with drones, well, you’re going to have to wait a while before you can experience your dream. The technology apparently isn’t quite here yet. As a promotion for a new shoe line, Crocs has a store in Tokyo where customers tap on a pair of shoes on an iPad, and a green Crocs-branded drone fetches the item and brings it to them.

This sounds pretty cool, but reports from the press event are that it doesn’t work 100% of the time. The drone has to hook a clip that holds the shoes in pairs with a dangling magnet, and sometimes it fails to grab the shoes. Also, there’s the important flaw that the store space is just a shoe-fetching promotion: Engadget points out that shoppers have to actually buy the slip-on sneakers somewhere else.

While the FAA is still not keen on deliveries using unmanned aircraft, maybe shuttling items within a store or within a building is a fun and even useful application for drones. Just keep it away from reporters’ faces.

Here’s a video of one of the test runs last week:

Here’s a longer demonstration that’s more realistic:

Flying Norlin Project [Crocs] (via Engadget)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.