Say goodbye to the days of long lines at the post office, or scrambling to collect dropped off packages before a stranger steals it off your porch. Amazon recently announced plans to roll out one of its most ambitious and creative services to date, Amazon Key.
It’s already been over ten years since the launch of Amazon Prime, which has no doubt helped position Amazon as leaders when it comes to convenience, speed, reliability and efficient service. The new Amazon Key service, which to begin with will exclude third-party couriers and launch only where Amazon themselves handle delivery, contrasts with Prime in that it will deliver packages directly inside of your home (even when you’re not around).
Using a couple of nifty gadgets, they’ve come up with a safe and secure way for you to provide access to your home when you’re away. The service makes use of their new Cloud Cam, along with a compatible smart lock. Connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, the camera works as a hub and communicates with the lock using ZigBee, a wireless tool commonly used in smart home devices. Upon arrival, the courier scans a barcode and requests entry to your home. Amazon verifies that the package(s) belong to the address and that the driver is at the address, turns on Cloud Cam and unlocks your door.
The courier is instructed to discreetly enter, opening the door as minimally as possible, and to avoid entering the property if they don’t need to. And don’t worry, they’ll be sure to ring or knock first in case anyone’s home.
As for the customer, they’ll receive a notification in the morning with an estimated time of delivery, and then another when delivery shows up, which means you can tune in to the live stream via the Cloud Cam and keep an eye on things for peace of mind.
The system will work with existing commonly used locks from Kwikset and Yale, but the connecting camera will be available through Amazon only. And if you already have an Alexa device, the camera can be integrated with it too.
Amazon say they hope to eventually integrate their offered services such as dog walking or kitchen cleaning into the Key service. The Key app and delivery service will be available on the 8th of November, with the camera already available to existing Prime customers for pre-order.
Whilst it’s a huge change in the world of home delivery, Amazon has always pushed boundaries, experimenting with new ways of integrating into our day-to-day lives. It will be sure to test the trust of their customers, but if it works out, it may well set the tone for the future.