Amazon’s Door Opener Isn’t What You Need To Be Worried About – Forbes
Amazon Key, is a door-opening system that will allow Amazon (and anyone you choose) to get into your home via your smartphone. At $249.99 (and currently only for Amazon Prime members only), Amazon’s latest push to get further inside our homes may not fly off the shelves but it is a look at a world that is fast approaching that comes with a hard cost – a world of extended trust and personal unaccountability.
The system sounds simple and fluffy (and does have a lot of checks and balances all of which can be countered if someone wanted to). Consumers buy an Amazon Cloud Cam, a compatible smart lock and download an app and they are ready to let people into their home (or pets out of it). For a lot of busy professionals, Amazon’s new system may seem like a dream but ask yourself; when was the last time you needed something so urgently you wouldn’t stay in for it or couldn’t make other arrangements. Granted some offices are smartly saying ‘no packages at the office’ (and this is environmentally better and smarter for cities) but honestly, this is a non-problem being solved. Find an Amazon Locker, deliver to a neighbour, arrange delivery for another day…the list goes on.
ISSUE 1 – YOU : For a lot of people, it’s time to accept the crossroads that they find themselves at. Do they accept more and more technology into their lives with the hope that it somehow allows them to do more that it takes away or do they reject technology and actually make some personal changes? I sense the majority of people aren’t ready to fully rebel and push away technology but Amazon Key – if social media responses are to be multiplied – could be a bridge too far. Does it need to be adopted 100% to be a success? No it does not – this device could shave off billions from re-delivery and failed delivery attempts for Amazon – that alone is worth the investment.
ISSUE 2 – THEM : Trust and the big Four (or five…six…seven) is being tested at the moment. Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms are failing our basic requirements of them, Amazon is not a social platform and has not breached consumer trust…yet. Amazon could be argued to be the most pervasive when it comes to the future of privacy and power thanks to the hold Amazon wields over the ways we will buy goods and services. Beyond this, technology like Amazon Key could lead to changes in the way we build houses.
Amazon Key is just the latest in a long line of recent ‘new normal’ services that are being offered to consumers. Walmart recently offered to deliver groceries to people’s fridges with a similar system. The battle for the home is raging. Google, Walmart, Amazon…even Facebook want devices to be sat next to you in order to service your every need. Whether that is a voice assistant or a smart lock, expect more of these services and expect them to push your comfort levels. If Amazon Key (and smart locks in general) take off and they become the defacto way of delivering? Amazon (and other companies) aren’t building trust but forcing you to trust them. If this sort of service goes wrong, it goes spectacularly wrong. Time will tell how this will play out but there’s a huge financial reward for companies who can make the last mile that much more frictionless.
Amazon Key will work in 37 states (see below) and will start shipping on November 8.