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Online giant has 'key' to in-home deliveries

27 October 2017

When the Amazon courier unlocks the door, the camera will automatically switch on to record the delivery, which the company says ensures customer safety and security. The courier then gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen, and voilà, your door unlocks. But imagine if a courier could temporarily be given access to your home, so they could drop off your package and leave. In fact, it led Christine Emba to expound a bit on the observation that "Amazon Key is Silicon Valley at its most out-of-touch" in the Washington Post (which, of course, is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos).

The system is not compatible with alarm systems, which must be turned off prior to delivery, or free-roaming house dogs, Amazon said on its website.

But the Amazon folks have got "Can I receive in-home delivery if I have a pet?" covered in a FAQ, of course.

In order to achieve this level of white-glove service, Amazon has to take a few liberties with your personal space.

The kit includes an Amazon Cloud Cam and one of several compatible smart locks by manufacturers Yale and Kwikset.

As for the home delivery and security stuff I mentioned above, Amazon also announced the Amazon Key.

Pollution: Killer of lives and growth
It is also three times more fatal than AIDS , tuberculosis, and malaria combined, one-and-a-half times more lethal than smoking. The US is the only developed country in the top 10.

Allowing a stranger into your home on a regular basis sounds like an insanely risky idea. They can watch on in real-time through the Cloud Cam or review the video afterwards. That means you can start watching a live stream of the delivery on your camera if you want to keep an eye on things.

It's a tremendous relief to know that I will not have to worry about thieves making off with the Amazon packages on my doorstep anymore, now that I have willingly granted any number of complete strangers access to the inside of my home where virtually all my possessions can be found.

The in-home delivery service is another example of Amazon inventing new ways to reach into consumer wallets without an obvious business case, said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner of RSR Research.

The whole system starts up when you make a purchase or place an order on Amazon and, at checkout, you choose "FREE in-home delivery". Amazon is planning to sell them in bundles and offer a subscription service for customers who want video archives and advanced home monitoring, putting the product in direct competition with Alphabet's Nest brand and others in the smart home space, like Ring and Logitech. Those paired with your Amazon Prime account allows Amazon delivery drivers entry to your home to drop off packages.

And this is Amazon's biggest obstacle in widespread adoption to Key - people just aren't all that trusting of big companies at the moment. The ability to unlock your door is only being granted to Amazon delivery drivers, and only if they are now carrying a package that's slated for delivery to your house that day.

Online giant has 'key' to in-home deliveries