How Much You Trust Amazon is Key to Amazon Key
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This whole Internet of things thing is started to get a little weird.
Amazon is pursuing something called Amazon Key, which lets its couriers unlock Prime customers’ doors and deliver packages. It’s pairing the service, which it plans to make available in 37 cities next month, with a camera so users will have intelligence inside and outside their homes, presumably boosting trust and lowering creepiness.
If one trusts Amazon, a big if, it’s a pretty cool idea. The company already might be listening to everything my family says via our Echo speaker and its Alexa voice assistant. So it knows what I want, and soon it can deliver it without my having to be home. It reminds me a bit of the Chinese startups that’ll wash your car while you work.
Apparently modern life means never having to wait at home for a service or delivery person ever again.
Trust will be key, though. Amazon (AMZN) has a good record with customers, who are confident the retailer will give them the lowest price. Entering their home will be another thing altogether.
What’s odd, by the way, is seeing Amazon as a follower. Walmart recently announced a similar test (for groceries) with August, the connected lock maker—whose acquisition I hadn’t noticed last week. The camera angle follows the popular Dropcam, which Nest bought and is now part of Alphabet (GOOGL) and is now Nest Cam.
Amazon led with online bookselling, web services, and drones. If it follows on other features, does it matter? Probably not.