Amazon is reportedly working on a smart doorbell to give delivery drivers one-time access to your home

Amazon is developing a “smart doorbell device” that would allow customers to grant delivery drivers one-time access to ones home to drop off items, according to a report by CNBC. The device is intended to reduce package theft due to unattended deliveries that often leave packages out in the open for hours.

While the device is described as a doorbell, it would surely need to be a smart lock, or at least have a smart lock component, to function the way it’s described by the people familiar with the matter. Many customers would likely cringe at the thought of giving a stranger access to their home, but package theft is a serious problem in some areas to the point that unattended deliveries are not an option.

Amazon has been rumored to be working on a home security camera, so it’s easy to see how the camera would work in tandem with the smart doorbell/lock to ensure the delivery driver doesn’t misbehave with their temporary access to your home.

Amazon’s current and future smart home devices can conceivably work together to provide the scenario where you receive an alert, possibly through Alexa, that a delivery driver is at your door. The alert could be accompanied with a live video feed of your front door and give you the option to unlock your door. You could then use your Echo devices to speak to the delivery driver and instruct them where to leave your package, all while watching their every move.

Most of the software components to achieve a scenario like the one just described, including push notifications, two-way communication, security camera integration, and smart lock integration are already present through Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. The introduction of an Amazon made smart lock and security camera would just make the entire system easier to setup, since it eliminates the need to link together 3rd-party devices.

  1. Erin says:

    While I understand the problem of package theft, I’d find an alternate delivery address rather than participating in a program where random drivers enter my home.

    Also not sure how they’d get drivers to comply, considering how many of them take shortcuts now in order to appear to have completed their routes quickly.

    • Ted Rosner says:

      I prefer the Amazon lockers at my local grocery store, delivery drivers are very inconsistent in regards to leaving packages and this prevents me from having to go to pick it up which is inconvenient.

      • Erin says:

        We’re about to get the Amazon Lockers at Whole Foods and that’s where I would send something I was concerned about as well. Or send it to a work address.

        Definitely not down with somebody entering the house. Even if I were, it would necessitate crating the dog all day and I wouldn’t want to do that either.

  2. Dan Dutra says:

    No, just no

  3. ChrisC says:

    oh hell no.

  4. Mewtwo says:

    Do they also do groceries?

  5. Masterblaster says:

    I deliver for Amazon Prime Now and believe me I would not trust any delivery driver in my house. I would recommend either an attended address or a one time use drop-off locker. Another solution would be a 2 hour delivery window with real-time package tracking.

  6. Bill says:

    who would want to enter a strangers house to leave a package in the most litigious country in the world?

  7. Gareth Price says:

    Before coming up with harebrained ideas like this they want to educate their own drivers (see below) to read properly. My package yesterday, quite clearly addressed to 32A, was put through the letter box of 32!

    I say ‘their own drivers’ as I am in one of the areas in the UK where Amazon have their own delivery depot, vans and drivers so they control the delivery chain from warehouse right through to delivery through the door.

  8. TechyChris says:

    What if they get injured (or claim to) while in your home?
    This is a BAD idea, lawsuits galore and I don’t need Nanny Cam video of some dude running around my house with my underwear on his head thank you!

  9. James says:

    I can’t imagine this working well or being loved by customers. Most accepted practices in society develop so as to reduce the dangers of – or merely reduce the perceived threat of – psychopaths/sociopaths. Any scheme which fails to take account of negative behaviours -however irrational – is not one I could support.

  10. AR says:

    would not be interested in this for the intended use but this could be an affordably priced smartlock/ camera device just for that use alone
    if it’s pricing falls inline with other amazon products

    one other thing nobody mentioned is the possibility that the driver does not close the door right and the door is no relocked after the delivery i can see this happening a lot

  11. Dave Ninja says:

    They could use this technology for something like a “amazon deck/patio box”; a box big enough to fit packages in that only the home owner and the amazon driver could unlock

    • Paranoid says:

      You mean like this?

      I have this thing for over a year now and I can tell you why you don’t want something like that from amazon, or any other single retailer.

      Ever since I have this I got so used to the comfort of it, I just don’t order anymore from stores which won’t deliver by DHL (you may know DHL as an express Service, as it operates abroad, here in germany it is just the parcel branch of our national postal service, like your USPS, so most stores will deliver via DHL).

      I wouldn’t want to limit myself the same way just to amazon. But I know that is what would happen, since it became so annoying to receive something that wouldn’t be delivered by DHL and into my Packetkasten. But being that dependend on amazon? No, thanks.

  12. amazonAprilFoolsDay says:

    Is it April 1st already. This has to be a joke.

  13. Paranoid says:

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Ever since amazon started to copy DHL’s german “Packstation” the delivery problem seems to be pretty much solved. Everyone with a dayjob can just drive by their nearest locker and pick their order up and everyone who is at home anyway doesn’t need a plan b and just gets the order delivered to their door.

    I find it odd enough that people would buy listening devices for a lot of money, but giving strangers access to your home? Everyone who ever had a nanny or cleaning help knows how difficult it is to find someone who you trust with the keys to your home while you are gone. But every perfect stranger who just happens to work for some delivery service, at minimum wage? Thanks, but no thanks, amazon.

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