Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post:
I gave Amazon.com a key to go into my house and drop off packages when I’m not around. After two weeks, it turns out letting strangers in has been the least-troubling part of the experience.
Once Amazon owned my door, I was the one locked into an all-Amazon world.
Make no mistake, the $250 Amazon Key isn’t just about stopping thieves. It’s the most aggressive effort I’ve seen from a tech giant to connect your home to the Internet in a way that puts itself right at the center.
The Key-compatible locks are made by Yale and Kwikset, yet don’t work with those brands’ own apps. They also can’t connect with a home-security system or smart-home gadgets that work with Apple and Google software.
And, of course, the lock can’t be accessed by businesses other than Amazon. No Walmart, no UPS, no local dog-walking company.
Amazon is barely hiding its goal: It wants to be the operating system for your home.
First things first, note that this article appeared in The Washington Post. The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos. Which tells me that Bezos truly is allowing the Post to be the Post, and that the Post is not afraid to bite the hand that feeds.
That said, the issue here is the walled garden. Once Amazon controls the lock on your door, they can control who has access to that lock, keeping out eventual home delivery by rivals like Walmart, and keeping rivals like Apple and HomeKit from offering door-unlocking services.
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