How strange would this be? Amazon emails you a link to a video that allows you to watch a person packing your product. Well, it just might happen.
In a newly unearthed patent application, Amazon describes a process that involves recording the shipment of your product, in both stills and video, for buyers to view online. At first, it sounds pretty handy—you can check if that item is really the item you ordered—that is, until you realize that it's possibly just a way of tracking liability.
Whereas Amazon generally takes credit for damaged goods at the moment, by isolating their involvement within the supply chain through hard evidence, fingers could be pointed elsewhere. (Of course, such evidence could also lead to better fixes in the shipping chain—adjust your take appropriately given your personal level of cynicism.)
As a shopper, that point actually worries me less than something simpler: Call me old fashioned, but I like the magic of placing an order with one click and having a package arrive the next day—a sort of Santa Claus on demand. I'd rather not see the elves at work, handling my book or product with rough, assembly line anonymity, just as I'd rather not know that Rudolph is kept in an unheated barn with limited sunlight.
Then again, if we could add this much accountability to the entire supply chain, maybe we wouldn't allow so many of our goods to be manufactured in horrible conditions. [Patent via CNET via TechFlash]