The Amazon Drone Store features DJI and Parrot prominently on the main store page. The DJI section offers links to the four Phantom models (see my comparison of the DJI Phantoms). The Parrot section features the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition as well as “Rolling Spider” and “Jumping Sumo”. There is also a “Coming Soon” announcement for the TechJet Dragonfly, showing an image of the Dragonfly that isn’t even on the TechJect website.
There is a buying guide for those who want to take photos from their drone. While short it mentions a lot of relevant points to consider for the prospective buyer – without going all the way to pointing to specific products. The guide covers some basic considerations (gimbal with camera mount or built in) but also talks about correcting lens distortion and advanced techniques (“Try to keep everything in focus and use adjustment layers in post-processing to recreate out-of-focus areas when necessary.”)
In a Fly Responsibly section, Amazon does not offer any direct advice. Instead there are links to the sUAS Flight Safety Guide [PDF] from the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Fly Responsibly microsite by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). There is also a link to the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems page. With statements like “Obtaining a Special Airworthiness Certificate in the experimental category for a particular UAS is currently the only way civil operators of unmanned aircraft are accessing the NAS”, I wonder if the latter is more likely to confuse than inform though. With a drone programme of their own in a legal grey zone, Amazon must have thought it best not to volunteer any interpretation of the law.
The Drone Store is a first step for Amazon to grow their share of a ballooning market for personal drones. Even Bed Bath & Beyond sells the Parrot AR Drone. The store currently acts as a filter onto Amazon’s larger Electronics category. Search for LiPo charger in the Amazon Drone Store and you get three results. Expand your search to the Electronics category and you get 435 hits (some of which are chargers). If the three LiPo chargers in the Drone store truly were the best choices for charging typical drone batteries then the Drone Store is a valuable filter onto what would otherwise be a plethora of choice. It does seem like the Drone Store needs a bit more curation effort before that is the case though.
Amazon’s special touch (people who bought this also bought..) is not absent from the Drone Store. During my first visit to the Drone Store I was amused by a drones-and-ice-cream juxtaposition.