At this point, we’re used to Amazon coming out with some off-the-wall ideas, from its wacky $200 smart fashion assistant to its much-hyped, continent-wide search for a second headquarters. But its latest announcement proved to be just too much for some people.
Amazon Key and Cloud Cam, unveiled this week, is a smart home device and service bundle that lets Amazon unlock your front door so it can deliver packages straight into your home. Yes, inside your home.
The need here is obvious: package theft is a real problem, and the smart lock and Cloud Cam that come along with the deal have a bunch of other uses. But even given that, isn’t giving Amazon a key to your front door a bit creepy?
We debate the pros and cons of the new service on this episode of the Week In Geek.
Plus, Microsoft broke our hearts this week with a puzzling announcement: the company has stopped manufacturing the Kinect, a once-popular smart camera that worked with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. It turned games into interactive augmented reality, of a sort, getting players up and moving instead of sitting on a couch.
Microsoft has been toning down its Kinect integration for years, and newer Xbox models don’t even come with a port for the Kinect. But the device’s motion sensors and camera can still do some very cool stuff, as GeekWire’s Todd Bishop knows first-hand.
Microsoft said the Kinect’s technology will live on, but it’s still sad to see a cool, innovative product come to an end.
Also in the news this week: Amazon broke out revenue from its physical retail stores for the first time, providing an interesting benchmark for the company’s new era. Plus, the company now employs over 500,000 people. That’s the same size as the population of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
And in some inspirational news, we discuss why one Seattle journalist is making an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest.
On the Random Channel this week: The Kindle is about to turn 10 years old, a spookily realistic monster surprises guests at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture and the frustrations of trying to buy Major League Soccer playoff tickets.