Great news for insane people and morons: Amazon has disrupted the lock! Now, you can choose to pay money to grant this giant faceless hell-corporation the ability to send strangers inside your locked home when you’re not there. Just like you always wanted.
I don’t know about you, but for me, Man With A Mouth Full Of Elmer’s School Glue At All Times, a persistent annoyance of daily life in the 21st century is how I choose, of my own free will, to configure the doors and windows of my home in such a way as to prevent anyone from being able to enter when I am not there and/or asleep. It’s infuriating! Why can’t strangers freely violate the security of my home that I have deliberately locked? Why can’t they come and go as they please through the portals I have closed, intentionally, for the express purpose of preventing them from coming and going as they please? Why can’t I fit an entire motorized nine-speed hand-mixer up my nose?
This is why I am glad the United States of America has the world’s most robust and visionary technology sector: So that the bright young thinkovators of our great nation can apply themselves to such age-old problems as “people locking their doors when they leave home, yet also wanting underpaid subcontractors of vast service-sector-destroying technology corporations to enter their homes while they’re gone.” The solution (to the reasonable home security provided by a locked front door), it turns out, is as simple as turning the place where you live into a miniature privatized surveillance-state dystopia monitored at all times by the terrifying, unaccountable mega-corporation on the far side of the omnipresent computing cloud. Sign me the hell up!
Here’s how it works, according to The Verge:
The service is called Amazon Key, and it relies on a Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock. The camera is the hub, connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi. The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices.
When a courier arrives with a package for in-home delivery, they scan the barcode, sending a request to Amazon’s cloud. If everything checks out, the cloud grants permission by sending a message back to the camera, which starts recording. The courier then gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen, and voilà, your door unlocks. They drop off the package, relock the door with another swipe, and are on their way. The customer will get a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off to confirm everything was done properly.
This does not at all sound like an actual nightmare. I, Traumatic Brain Injury Futurist, love to erase literally all the physical and technological boundaries separating my home from the retail supply chain of unspeakably vast and infinitely ravenous profit-making machines that only this year suffered huge security breaches exposing the personal data of thousands and thousands of people. Love to pay extra money to give Amazon’s cold, post-human robot hive brain—and whichever syndicates of Odessa teen hackers happen to be exploiting it at any given moment!—a physical, recording eyeball inside my home, and control over the actual door. It seems great to me, Man Who Got His Head Stuck Inside A Helium Balloon In 1994 And Has Had It There Ever Since.
It’s a tremendous relief to know that I will not have to worry about thieves making off with the Amazon packages on my doorstep anymore, now that I have willingly granted any number of complete strangers access to the inside of my home where virtually all my possessions can be found. I, Insane Housebound Shut-In Who Nevertheless Both Leaves Home Often Enough For This To Be A Concern And Has No Particular Hang-Ups About The Sanctity Of My Personal Dwelling-Space, definitely order enough stuff off Amazon for this to be worth turning the administration of the inside of my home over to an Amazon-controlled camera and internet-connected door lock.
To celebrate this tremendous advance in the field of obliterating the entire concepts of human privacy and property and personhood, I am going to drill another hole in my cranium and pour some laundry detergent into it, just as soon as a harried Amazon courier with dark circles under his eyes and a heartbeats-per-delivery monitor stitched into his ribcage violates the place where I live to leave a bottle of Gain on the doormat.