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Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door

Posted on October 26th, 2017 at 12:41 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


Twelve years ago, Amazon launched Prime, a subscription service that entitled members to free two-day shipping in the United States. Since then, it has added a number of options to make delivery faster and more convenient. Prime customers can get same-day delivery, and drop off with an hour or two on some items. Of course, customers aren’t always home to receive their packages. So Amazon started putting lockers in nearby convenience stores and building lobbies. It even showed off drones that could drop the package right into your backyard. Today it’s taking the obvious next step and introducing a service that will allow Amazon couriers to open your front door and put your package safely inside your home.

The service is called Amazon Key, and it relies on a Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock. The camera is the hub, connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi. The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices.

  1. This is not exactly a new idea. In the early part of the 20th century there was the “Receivador” device. A person didn’t have to answer their own door, (thus avoiding admitting that they didn’t have servants when groceries were delivered) nor, presumably, face the demand for payment.

    It was advertised as an “automatic servant”.

  2. If readers do happen to feel the need to use this service and trust the security of the cloud with the keys to your home and a stranger entering your home while you’re away, please be sure to secure your pets so they don’t escape at time of delivery. It’s a real bummer looking for lost pets and I doubt amazon provides pet recovery services. I assume your kids will be with you.

  3. Simple non-intrusive solution I read somewhere.

    1. Get a foot locker/box/cupboard.
    2. Affix to house somehow (bolted, chain etc)
    3. Attach unlocked padlock to it
    4. Leave instructions to put package into locker and lock with padlock

  4. @MrHatMan: you only get 1 package delivered at a time? That’s so 20th century.

    More seriously: Amazon routinely splits multi-item orders into multiple boxes delivered by different people because they’re sending them from different warehouses. If you’re the kind of customer that Amazon is targeting with this service, your solution won’t work.

  5. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting a cloud-connected smartlock on my front door either.

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