Amazon Key is a new service that allows couriers to unlock your door for deliveries

Amazon introduced the Cloud Cam today, which, by itself, is a decent new entry into the security camera market. Cloud Cam is also an integral part of Amazon Key, which is a new service that allows couriers to unlock your door to deliver packages directly into your home, all while being closely watched by Amazon’s new camera.

Amazon Key requires a special “Key Edition” version of their new Cloud Cam, whichacts as a hub and communicates with a smart lock over Zigbee, a popular wireless protocol used by many smart home devices. The three compatible locks are the Kwikset Conversion Kit, the Kwikset SmartCode 914, and the Yale Assure. Amazon is selling an Amazon Key Kit bundle at a discounted price that includes the Cloud Cam (Key Edition) camera and your choice of lock. The bundle will save you between $40 and $70, over buying the camera and lock seperately, depending on which lock you select. If you’d like, Amazon is also including free professional installation.

Once signed up for the service, you’ll have the option to select in-home delivery when checking out at Amazon. When your package arrives, the courier scans its barcode and indicates they’re at your front door. Amazon’s cloud verifies that the correct courier is at the right address, with the right package, at the intended time and signals the Cloud Cam camera. The camera begins recording and unlocks your door. The courier never receives an access code that could potentially be used again. Once the courier indicates the package has been dropped off, your door relocks.

A notification is sent to your phone when the courier arrives and begins the process. You are given the option to watch a live feed of the courier dropping off the package if you’d like. You’ll receive a second notification after the package has been delivered and can view a recording of the delivery to verify everything was done properly.

Amazon is currently only trusting their own drivers for this service. That is why it will only be available in 37 cities when it launches on November 8th, the same day the Amazon Cloud Cam is being released. Eventually, Amazon will be opening Amazon key up to other professional services, such as the cleaning service Merry Maids and pet sitters and dog walkers on Rover.com.

Amazon Key is only available to Prime members for now. Customers will also be able to use the service to grant family and friends keyless access to their homes.

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25 comments
  1. Charlie says:

    Right. I’m going to let some random delivery person have access to my house and I don’t care if it’s an Amazon employee. People are people and you don’t want strangers in your house.

    • OG Charlie says:

      The idea is that the camera will keep them honest. If you can see the driver in real time deliver the package and there’s a free 24 hour archive of video and the system reports when the door has been closed/locked, the driver would have to be pretty dumb to try anything.

      • Charlie says:

        That’s all good, after the fact. The best security is prevention. Once your stuff is gone will you ever get it back and what will be its condition when and if the police recover it. Also, don’t forget to lock down your computers, so the driver doesn’t use you PC to download child porn, for example.

        • Charlie? says:

          Don’t forget to lock down your bananas, so the driver doesn’t use your bananas to molest a polar bear, for example.

        • Reflex says:

          This is silly. Why would a thief enter by first getting a job with a delivery service, then delivering via a well monitored end to end solution that tracks who they are and when and where they are delivering? Dumbest thief ever.

          There is no such thing as home security. If a thief wants in, they will get in and they won’t do it via a method like this that makes it likely they get caught. They’ll just break a window, pick a lock or another method when they are certain you are not home.

  2. Matt says:

    I’ve seen those ‘Amazon’ drivers. Pretty sure they are also Lyft/Uber drivers as well. They tailgate people into my ‘secure’ apartment building after business hours and leave people’s packages out in the open.

    No way I’m letting these shady folks into my house.

    • Reflex says:

      I used to deliver pizza. I often had to tailgate residents into such complexes. It was either that or fail to deliver the pizza and get blamed for it. What makes them ‘shady’ for trying to complete their job?

  3. YorkshireTeaLover says:

    No *ucking way!

    Better safer than sorry.

  4. ferdinand tagpis says:

    A new way for hacker to break into your house, a digital lock?

  5. Katie says:

    As both a customer and someone who delivers packages for a living, I see some problems with this.

    As a delivery person I would be afraid that someone would accidentally forget to put their pet in another room and it would either attack me or run out in the street. I don’t want to be responsible for that. Where I live, people already let their dogs run right up to my truck, but at least there’s a barrier.

    As a customer, I don’t want random people in my house. For me, it’s just about the invasion of personal space. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give strangers the entire layout of the inside of your home.

    There is a place I deliver to that has a coded lock on a utility room with no access to the main building where we drop packages. This would probably work for him so he wouldn’t have to give us the code, but in that case the room is pretty much empty except for locked electrical boxes and pipes.

    • Charlie says:

      Many years ago I worked as an exterminator and had access to homes and was always respectful, but you reminded me of an incident. I always called the night before, but one time I didn’t reach a customer and decided the next day to let myself in. It was the only time I ever did that and learned my lesson. A giant, over-sized black lab pinned me behind a Lazy Boy for several minutes before I managed to get out of the house. Funny now, but then not so much.

    • Reflex says:

      The pet scenario is a really good callout.

      • Erin says:

        So much could go wrong with pets. Pet attacks delivery person is probably the one most people think of, though my dog would just want attention. I’d be far more worried that the dog (or cat) would slip out past the delivery person and either be hit by a car or lost, or chases said delivery person and they’re injured trying to outrun the dog. (Famous case in NJ where a UPS or FedEX guy tripped running from a dog and successfully sued homeowner for 100s of thousands of $$.)

        Assuming all went well with the drop-off, I’d expect the package to be played with and chewed on by my dog if it smelled even remotely interesting. “Interesting” isn’t always predictable and is certainly not limited to food items.

  6. Dave says:

    I’ve noticed a trend lately in that Amazon seems to have this desire to provide customers with a “solution” to problems that aren’t really problems. They want you to think that you need a product or service from them, but in reality there’s no real problem that needs fixing. UPS, FedEx, DHL, and the USPS haven’t expressed a desire to invent an alternative “solution” to delivering packages when no one is home. Why does Amazon feel that they must “solve” a problem and why isn’t the current “solution” sufficient???

    • Reflex says:

      Actually all of the above have been working on this problem because package theft of deliveries is now one of the highest costs in the delivery business. Wal*Mart also introduced a delivery program for access to the home yesterday for the same reasons.

      I’ve had several packages go missing despite living in a good neighborhood. Some people drive around looking for deliveries to steal.

  7. AR says:

    the delivery drives are so lazy you can’t even get them to ring the bell, but for what they get paid who can blame them
    they are going to have to offer the delivery drivers a commission for each time they do this or it is not going to work
    i am disappointed they are using 3rd party HW though i would have liked to have seen affordably priced amazon smart lock
    but i have no need for such a service nor would i ever use one if i did

    • Masterblaster says:

      I deliver for Amazon Prime Now personally love handing the package to my customers but I also earn a tip.
      Even with a one or two hour delivery window, many customers don’t answer their door or leave a note on the app not to ring. Some people don’t have a secure location.

      Sorry you feel that delivery drivers are “lazy”.

      Ups/ FedEx drivers deliver hundreds of packages over >160 stops over one shift with traffic, construction, security, apartment complexes,and dogs.

      With GPS location tracking of packages when scanned at stop helps keep drivers honest. But the other part is to have a secure location or the customer answer the door.
      Having a package locker is a great solution for some locations, a live package tracker works for others and a living person at the door is another.
      Nobody wants their packages stolen.

  8. Keith says:

    Nope.Nope.Nope.

  9. Andrew says:

    Yes.Yes.Yes.

  10. Erin says:

    I’m wondering who finds this service appealing, other than amazon. Yes, people who are unhappy with something are far more likely to post, but I’ve yet to see one commenter anywhere say they’d like to use this service.

  11. MarkyR74 says:

    One of the most stupid ideas ever!!! Seriously stupid, thief’s love cameras, plenty of footage on YouTube of thief’s stealing cars and playing up to security cameras cause it’s funny. Just get one dodgy courier driver, and bye bye stuff replear with a film of them stealing your stuff. Good luck with your insurance company too when they find out YOU voluntarily let them in with NO ONE else in the property…

  12. David says:

    All of the official adverts I have seen feature a young attractive woman delivery person.

  13. YorkshireTeaLover says:

    Loose gun control laws + strangers having access to gun owner’s house = recipe for success!

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