Amazon Key Will Unlock Your House for Packages, Dog Walkers, and Other Types of People
Amazon Prime users tired of having to carry packages into their house rejoice, for the ever-growing company is expanding into yet another area: your door. The new service, called Amazon Key, is now available for Prime members in 37 cities with the purchase of the $250 Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which includes an Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) indoor security camera, and compatible Kwikset or Yale smart lock that will open, Amazon says, for whoever and whenever you choose.
After selecting "free in-home delivery" at checkout, Amazon will notify you just before the delivery takes place. Upon the deliverer's arrival, Amazon will unlock your door, and activate the security camera, which you can stream live in the Amazon Key app, or watch later. Once the delivery is complete, Amazon will relock your door and notify you once again, perhaps easing your mind, or perhaps reminding you just how much control Amazon now wields over your home.
For instance, Amazon's introduction/FAQ page for the service says that packages will be dropped off "just inside your front door," but also suggests using the system for more extensive entry allowances. "No more hiding keys under the mat," proclaims the heading of one section, almost as if Amazon already knows where they are, because Amazon Key lets you schedule permanent access for family members, or "temporary access to recurring visitors like dog walkers, house cleaners, or out-of-town guests," with notifications whenever these visitors lock or unlock (smart lock or smart unlock?) your front door.
If this form of Amazon delivery sounds a little too Prime for you, Amazon's very reassuring sounding "Amazon Key Happiness Guarantee" promises the company will work to "correct the problem" should an in-home delivery not be completed "to your satisfaction."
While still very new, it's not the first in-home delivery service to roll out this year—last month, Walmart began testing a similar system for groceries, which would be delivered all the way into users' fridges. That trial, though, only applied to Silicon Valley residents who owned a particular type of smart home already, whereas Amazon's can be retrofitted to any home with a standard deadbolt and door. Whether letting Amazon open and view your home becomes a standard of its own, however, is up to you.