Amazon’s new service lets delivery staff unlock your front door and enter your home.
The service is called Amazon Key, and it relies on 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.
No More Missing Parcels
When an Amazon delivery person rings your doorbell or knocks on your door but nobody answers, rather than leaving the package on your doorstep or with a neighbour, they’ll be able to open an Amazon Key app and use a feature called Unlock.
Amazon will then perform a check to ensure the right delivery person is trying to deliver the right package to the right address. 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.
A New Shopping Experience
“This is not an experiment for us,” Peter Larsen, Amazon’s Vice President of Delivery Technology, told Reuters. “This is a core part of the Amazon shopping experience from this point forward.”
According to Mr Larsen, early tests of Amazon Key suggest that theft is “not something that happens in practice”, but if customers encounter a problem, they’ll be able to file a complaint with Amazon customer services. Prime customers can preorder the camera today. The Key app and actual delivery service will become available November 8th.
For All Amazon Services
While Amazon isn’t going to allow any third-party delivery services to get inside your house with Key (at least not at launch), the company is hoping that you’ll use Key when ordering stuff like dog walking or kitchen cleaning from its Amazon Home Services division.
In the coming months, Amazon will integrate with over 1,200 service providers across 60 professions. You’ll log on to the website or app of a service like Rover.com or Merry Maids, and there will be a button offering the option for in-home service through Amazon Key.
Amazon Key will launch on 8 November in 37 US locations, but it’s only open to Prime members.
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