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What Are the Chances a Drone will Deliver me a Package?

Software designer Julian Kantor, who created "The Recital" takes a picture of Jonathan Feng (R) as he uses the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to experience his program during E3 in Los Angeles, California June 12, 2013.

BuzzFeed recently asked an oddsmaker at English gaming house Ladbrokes, to make wagers on the likelihood of 10 “moonshots.” Moonshots are futuristic tech innovations that previously were considered to be science fiction. Ladbrokes uses quantitative factors, qualitative factors, and intuition to make these predictions.

Here are the bets:

Google Driverless Car Wager 1

Google designed driverless vehicles that operate using lasers and imaging technology.

The Bet: Before 2025 Google’s self-driving car will be used legally within Europe and the United States.

The Odds: 1/2

The English oddmakers are near certain that driverless cars will be legal by 2025.

Smart Watches

Computerized wristwatches that function as smartphones.

The Bet: Smart watches will be listed as a major consumer category and will sell 100 million units worldwide in any year before 2020.

The Odds: 3/1

Ladbrokes predicts that the odds of adoption would be even shorter if the smart watch eclipsed the smartphone or became a more affordable accessory.

Project Loon

Google has also endeavored to beam internet from balloons in the stratosphere to rural and impoverished areas around the world.

The Bet: Google will achieve 75%+ global land internet coverage by 2020.

The Odds: 4/1

Ladbrokes places favorable odds on Project Loon after Google acquired Titan Aerospace.

Google Robots

Boston Dynamics is one of the several robotics companies that Google has recently acquired.

The Bet: Google will release commercial bipedal or quadrupedal robots before 2020.

The Odds: 6/1

Ladbrokes sees the commercial sales of robots as plausible before 2020.

Oculus Rift

A virtual reality (VR) headset that allows gamers to completely immerse themselves in the game, recently acquired by Facebook.

The Bet: Oculus will become the dominant videogame display technology by 2020.

The Odds: 8/1

Due to the current popularity of VR, Ladbrokes is confident that this type of device will be widely used in 2020.

Facebook Connectivity Lab

Similar to Google’s Project Loon, the Facebook Connectivity Lab will beam internet from a fleet of drones, satellites, and lasers.

The Bet: Facebook will achieve 75%+ global land internet coverage by 2020.

The Odds: 8/1

Due to the Titan Aerospace acquisition by Google, Ladbrokes gives Facebook’s Connectivity Lab slightly less odds.

Amazon Delivery Drones

Unmanned aerial vehicles that will deliver Amazon packages to customers within 30 minutes of placing an order.

The Bet: Amazon will deliver the majority of their inventory by drone worldwide by 2020.

The Odds: 20/1

Although drones are an efficient innovation, Ladbrokes predicts that implementing this service to the point of cutting out delivery staff will significantly hinder the chances of drones coming to fruition.

Google Driverless Car Wager 2

The Bet: To be the dominant form of automobile in Europe/The US before 2025

The Odds: 25/1

While Ladbrokes are confident the Google car will be legal they are less certain whether human drivers will relinquish their roles in the front seat by that time.

Google Glass

A wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display operated by natural language voice commands. 

The Bet: Google Glass will ship more units worldwide than the newest iPhone in any year up to 2020.

The Odds: 100/1

Ladbrokes predicted that the bet was a longshot because most consumers feel Google Glass is not relevant to their daily lives, especially due to its costly price tag of $1,500.

BitCoin

The Bet: BitCoin will account for more of world GDP than the £/$ by 2015.

The Odds: 200/1

BitCoin adoption has only a slightly better chance of occurring than Mars colonization.

SpaceX Mars Program

A spaceflight system designed to transport humans to Mars and back, with the eventual purpose of Mars colonization.

The Bet: SpaceX will colonize Mars before 2020.

The Odds: 250/1

The SpaceX Mars Program is seen as a longshot by Ladbrokes.

In the two weeks since Ladbrokes started taking bets, the odds have stayed the same on each wager each the three with the longest odds.  Bettors are bullish on Google Glass, Bitcoin and the Success of the SpaceX Mars Program.  We here at TechTank will keep on the lookout for changes in the prediction market.

Changes in Ladbrokes Betting Lines

Wager

Old

New

Google Glass

100 to 1

33 to 1

Bitcoin

200 to 1

100 to 1

SpaceX Mars Program

250 to 1

50 to 1

Find the BuzzFeed article here.

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