Amazon has been experimenting with the most convenient ways to deliver your parcels, ensuring the fastest and safest route to get the item you’ve ordered into your hands. This began by implementing drop off points and has since evolved into employing the use of drones. Now, bizarrely, the most logical next step is to allow couriers to enter your house without you even being there.
Amazon Key is a new service that allows couriers to safely drop your parcel off directly into your house. It does so via the company’s new Cloud Cam and accompanying smart lock, in which the camera communicates with the lock via the Zigbee wireless protocol, using your home WiFi.
Once all of this tech is set up in your home, all it takes is for the courier to scan the barcode of the parcel, which sends a request to Amazon’s cloud. This prompts the Cloud Cam to activate and record the following, while the courier is sent a notification via the necessary app to unlock your door. If all checks out during this technical process, they can unlock the door, place the parcel inside and lock the door with a second swipe of the app.
Of course, this presents thoughts of security issues, but Amazon is aiming to quell that as much as possible with utter transparency. Once the delivery van arrives, the customer will be prompted to view a livestream, in which can be expected via a window of time given once the van has initially set off. If the customer isn’t available during that time, then the owner will receive the standard notification that their parcel has been delivered, complemented by the recording of the delivery to ensure everything went as planned.
Furthermore, Amazon is only trusting its own delivery team with its in-house service at launch, with the possibility of including third-party services in the future, but not without notifying its customers first. If this is the case, the customer might even get the opportunity to select which they are more comfortable with. Using its own team means that the service is currently restricted to 10 million items, with a size and weight limit, meaning that bulkier items are not eligible.
Currently Amazon Key is only available across 37 cities in the US, with its launch pegged for November 8th. The individual Cloud Cam is Alexa compatible and can be controlled via voice commands. It comes individually priced at $120, but Amazon is offering a pre-order bundle including a lock, camera and installation for $249.99. The service is currently compatible with Yale and Kwikset locks, which are two reputable brands.
KitGuru Says: It is an interesting step to take, and one which prompts a lot of concerns. I am not sure if I would be particularly comfortable with such a thing. Would you let Amazon inside of your home without you physically being there to monitor them?