Following hot on the heels of Walmart’s announcement of a new in-home delivery concept, Amazon has announced a similar service. Called Amazon Key and available to Prime members in select cities and surrounding areas, the program grants couriers access to your home so that they can safely deliver packages just inside your front door.
The service requires the Amazon Key In-Home Kit to get started. Priced starting at $249.99, the kit includes the Key edition of the Amazon Cloud Cam indoor security camera and a compatible smart lock from either Kwikset or Yale that you can get installed or install yourself.
So how does it work exactly? Very similarly to Walmart’s concept, actually. After placing an order on Amazon and selecting the option for free in-home delivery, customers simply sit back and let Amazon take care of the rest. On the day of the delivery, the retail giant authorizes the delivery, initiates the Cloud Cam, and unlocks the front door (no special codes or keys are given to the driver). The courier drops off the package inside, a process which the customer can watch live (or later), and a delivery confirmation (including a notification that the door has been relocked) is sent to the customer.
Amazon Key also grants permanent and temporary access to other trusted visitors like family members, for example, or dog walkers. It also hopes to roll-out access to other professional service providers in the coming months.
This all sounds quite convenient and streamlined, and the video tells a compelling story, but would you really consider granting your favorite e-tailer access to your home while you’re not there?