Amazon Inc. – the U.S.-based online retailing giant – has searched for ways to improve delivery convenience for customers for a long time. In 2015, the e-commerce company launched a trial with Audi in which packages were deposited in car boots. Now, the e-commerce giant has come with a service that will make deliveries even more convenient for consumers.
What is Amazon Key? What does it do?
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said, “Amazon seems to be on an unstoppable mission to own every aspect of the home.” He said that he used a smart lock and a video doorbell to give couriers access to his garage. Asking consumers to make their front doors accessible might be even harder, said Wood. The users of Amazon Key will need a Cloud Cam camera and smart lock to use this service by Amazon.
Mr. Wood said that in order to address security concerns, his understanding is that there is an awful lot of work being done to make connected locks secure. He added, “But it would only take a few incidents to stop this dead in the water – people wouldn’t want to have something on their front door if they felt it wasn’t secure.”
The system can be used to give access to cleaners, visiting guests or dog walkers as well. Amazon Key will work with a range of smart locks. Compatible smart locks include models made by Kwikset and Yale. Users will be able to choose to receive a short video of the delivery after the drop-off or watch the delivery live. Couriers will scan a package barcode and the camera will begin recording once the delivery has been verified online. Next, the delivery person will be able to unlock the door by using an application.
Here’s what the Cloud Camera will cost
Nest, one of the many rivals of Amazon, revealed new smart home products last month which included a video-streaming doorbell and an internet-connected intruder alarm. The video-streaming doorbell could be paired with a Yale smart lock as well. Those products also let doors be unlocked remotely and helped in giving access to couriers or guests. Amazon Key will be available in 37 US cities initially where Amazon Logistics, the online retailer’s own courier, will handle deliveries.
The online retailer says, “These individuals are thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews.” The online retailer has also recommended to not use the in-home delivery service if the customer’s pet can reach the front door. The Cloud Cam camera made by Amazon costs $120 (£90) and a bundle with a smart lock and free installation costs around $249.99.