👓 Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door | The Verge

Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door by Ben Popper (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.

There’s a lot of trust Amazon is asking people for in it’s last few products. Alexa could listen (and potentially record) anything you say, cameras in your bedroom (ostensibly to help you dress), and now a key to your house. I can see so many things going wrong with this despite the potential value.

I’m probably more concerned about the flimsy lack of security in the area of internet of things (IoT) which could dip into these though than I am about what Amazon would/could do with them.

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❤️ Why Connecting Hardware with the Web is So Neat by Eli Fatsi

Why Connecting Hardware with the Web is So Neat by Eli Fatsi (Viget)
We just wrapped up development on Lightwalk, an interactive art installation living at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. For a number of reasons, this has been one of the most interesting projects I've ever worked on. There is the obvious wow factor of the installation itself, but we also developed a whole suite of dev tools running behind the scenes that not only keep the installation running, but also enable engagement from ACU students in multiple ways. It's this tie between hardware and software that makes the project truly shine, it's taking art and making it sm-art, it's the internet of things but it's actually interesting, and it's what I'm going to be talking about today.

This is a cool art installation! I’d like to have one please… It’s like a miniature version of the installation at Los Angeles International Airport, but small enough to fit in my front yard. If only the LAX version was controllable like this one!

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