Following rumors from August of this year, Amazon has officially debuted Amazon Key. The new service is exclusively for Prime members and allows packages shipped from Amazon to be placed inside of your home using a smart lock.
An Amazon Key In-Home kit is required to make use of the new service. The lock kit retails for $249.99 and allows one-time access codes to be created so that delivery drivers can place a package just inside the front door. The Amazon Cloud Camera is a 1080p camera included with the lock kit and has low light capabilities. Motion sensing allows you to monitor any activity taking place. This new service is designed to help prevent theft of packages from outside homes, but there is an obvious new security risk associated with this. Allowing a delivery driver access to your home when you are not around so that your Prime shipments arrive on time is really not all that appealing.
All deliveries that take place using the Amazon Key service are recorded by the camera included in the home kit. Customers are able to play back the delivery live or go back and watch it occur after it takes place. Whether this is enough for consumers to gain the trust of delivery drivers and grant them access to their homes remains to be seen. Drivers have been instructed to only open doors far enough to drop a package inside and remain outside the door if possible. Even though steps are being taken to make the process as minimally invasive as possible, Amazon is entering new territory asking for open access.
Currently, Amazon is offering free professional installation for the in-home key kits as an incentive to try one out. Existing electronic locks made by Kwikset and Yale may be compatible with Amazon's platform, but a Cloud Camera is still required in order to make use of the whole system. Both the full key kit and standalone Cloud Camera are available for pre-order today, with the full Amazon Key service beginning November 8.