- 2 years ago

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After announcing its curious experiments with delivery drones, Amazon appears to be keeping news media on its toes, to the point where even a relatively mundane announcement gets a sci-fi spin.

This time, it’s “anticipatory shipment.” Amazon has announced that it will leverage its customer analytics to begin shipping items before shoppers even click the “Buy” button.

At first blush (and with the recent revelation that fellow Internet behemoth Google has purchased a number of robotics companies), the announcement leads one to worry that Amazon has a population of Minority Report-style “precogs” floating in tanks somewhere, predicting future purchases before they happen. In reality, the company is simply using its ample supply of customer data to decide when to move popular products closer to regional depots, in order to cut down on shipping time.

The move seems a more plausible service enhancement than flying drones carrying light-weight packages, which could theoretically be shot down by leather-clad Mad Maxian archers looting their precious five dollar bounties. Welcome to the future, friends.