Amazon is toying with the idea of a doorbell that would allow its delivery drivers one-time access to your home and a smart license plate that would do the same for the trunk of your car. While the company is known for its innovative ideas on shipping, this time it’s been beaten to the punch by Walmart.
Sam Walton and company started Walmart’s direct-to-refrigerator service in New York earlier this year by partnering with August Home, a smart-lock startup. This partnership allows delivery drivers to use a one-time code to gain access to your home where, under surveillance, they can put items directly in your refrigerator and cupboards.
Amazon is reported to be in negotiations with smart license plate frame manufacturer Phrame, which would allow drivers to place non-perishable items in the trunk of a vehicle, rather than leave them outside unattended. The company is also working on their own version of a smart doorbell that would, presumably, serve the same function as the Walmart offering.
Analyst Natalie Berg told CNBC:
It’s not just the financial cost but also the impact that a failed delivery can have on brand reputation and customer loyalty. Nothing makes shoppers more irate than missing a delivery.
This is a clear case of “anything you can do, I can do better,” but it’s hard to think of a reason why this won’t work wonders for Amazon. While at the same time, it might set off alarms inside the head of anyone worried about a giant big brother-like company gaining complete and total access to every part of our lives, which is a valid concern.
But Amazon is best known for its convenience, and it’s time for it to spoil us again. Sure, two day deliveries on anything our heart desires was a neat trick five years ago, but who has time to carry packages inside and open them these days?
Would you let Amazon come into your house and put away your groceries?