SEATTLE — Earlier this year, Amazon filed a patent for predictive shipping, which would allow the online shipping juggernaut to move products in their general direction before it’s even sold (or ever sells). But now it seems, Amazon has one-upped itself once again. Jeff Bezos announced Thursday afternoon that Amazon has filed another patent for a shipping service it’s calling “lifetime anticipatory shipping.”
“Lifetime anticipatory shipping uses your search history, cookies, and an advanced algorithm to determine everything you will ever want, need, and likely purchase,” said Bezos.
“Once we have compiled this list, we will go ahead and ship your lifetime supply of everything you could possibly desire without you ever having to order it. Once the shipment arrives, we will extract the costs from your bank account without you having to touch it. The entire process is automated, so you’ll never have to order anything ever again. Of course, you might end up paying for it in a big way, but ultimately, it will cut down on wasted time, browsing through retail and websites. This is the peak of efficiency. The old ways of ordering things as you need them are obsolete. Now we order them for you before you even know you need them.”
Lifetime anticipatory shipping also assesses the mental health history of the customer’s family as just one of many factors used to determine what the customer will want as they age.
The announcement has already come under intense scrutiny from critics. Many are saying the premise is intrusive and uses private data and illegally accesses bank accounts, while others have cited concerns that lifetime anticipatory shipping is poised to bankrupt many Americans by forcing them to unknowingly make the massive bulk payment required for the service.
Despite all of this, Amazon remains unfazed and is set to launch this Minority Report-like shipping system in early 2018.