Amazon is determined to get its foot in the door of customers’ homes — even when the homeowner isn’t there. The new Amazon Key service combines the Amazon Cloud Cam with smart lock technology to provide couriers with unattended access to Amazon Prime members’ homes.
Available beginning November 8, the service uses the Internet-linked camera, which “talks” to the smart lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol used by many home devices. When couriers arrive with a package, they scan a barcode that sends a request to Amazon’s cloud. The cloud grants permission for entry by sending a message back to the camera, which then begins recording. The couriers receive a prompt on their app that allows them to unlock the door. After leaving the package, the courier relocks the door via the app. Customers receive a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off process.
The Amazon Cloud Cam also operates as a “straightforward home security camera, one that can respond to voice commands and integrates with other Alexa devices,” according to The Verge. In coming months, Amazon Key will provide customers with ways to provide unattended access to service providers, repair people and out-of-town guests, as well as more than 1,200 Amazon Home Services.
Amazon is selling a complete Amazon Key In-Home Kit for $249.99, which includes the Amazon Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock. The service will be available in 37 U.S. metro areas and is offered exclusively to Amazon Prime members.