No more worries about being there to receive them.
Amazon Key also opens the door to future integration with in-home service providers, such as cleaners and pet sitters, in the coming months.
“This is not an experiment for us”, said Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of delivery technology, in an interview. However, the added upfront cost may stop some from initially embracing Amazon Key.
“This is not a trial”.
You can also use this to let in service appointments or guests. Once setup, you get live view of the deliveries to your home, as well as notifications that they are happening.
Members of Amazon’s Prime shopping club can pay $249.99 and up for a cloud-controlled camera and lock that the company offers to install.
The company demonstrated the service to reporters at a rental house in San Francisco on Tuesday. It requires a smart lock, which can be unlocked remotely, as well as the “Amazon Cloud Cam” – a new Amazon security camera, also announced on Wednesday. If you want to outfit your entire home, they are selling 2-packs for $199.99 (code: 2CLOUDCAM) and 3-packs for $289.99 (code: 3CLOUDCAM). When Amazon grants permission, the camera set up inside the home starts recording and the door unlocks.
The Key, meanwhile, is something of a throwback to the old, human way of doing things – but with a smart lock twist.
What’s clear though is that no matter how useful you might envisage this Amazon Key is a huge step in terms of trust. This allows the delivery person to swipe a button on the app that unlocks the door.
Obviously, the areas in which Amazon Key will first launch include major metropolitan areas around the country, with all of the usual suspects like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC all present and accounted for. And the lock is trained to unlock when the courier scans the barcode and it works with the residence. He must confirm that the door is closed and locked before leaving.
The code sent to your smart lock unlocks your door for five minutes, USA Today is reporting. Amazon was quick to note, however, that the Alexa component in the Cloud Cam is powered by its other smart home appliances, like the Echo Show, Fire TV, and others.
Amazon Key will be available on November 8 in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the USA, with more locations rolling out over time.
While Amazon can direct its delivery employees to enter a home, the homeowner can control who else can come in when they aren’t around. Packages are usually delivered during the day while people may be at work so that leaves some not-so attractive options.