Amazon has announced a new way of securing in-home deliveries that utilizes smartphone technology. Dubbed Amazon Key, it utilizes a smart lock on your front door to selectively allow access to your home.
Prime Members will be eligible to purchase a kit that contains a camera and home access lock. Free installation will also be provided if requested. The kit will cost $249. When the Key-enabled delivery process is selected at checkout, the delivery driver will be allowed to request access to the home. They are not granted automatic access, however. The homeowner must grant authorization via an app on their phone or tablet that will allow the delivery driver to access the home. In addition to the authorization, a camera will begin to record, ensuring that the package is delivered and that nothing else is done. The video can be viewed through the app in real time. The delivery drivers will not have keycode access at any point during the delivery process. Non-Prime members will not be able to utilize the service.
The kit used is not limited to use with Amazon deliveries. Amazon notes that it can also be used to selectively let in friends or other services such as cleaning services and dog walkers. Amazon will be partnering with other service providers to allow their employees to use the Key system, such as Merry Maids and Rover, and other providers of Amazon Home Services.
While Amazon does provide a kit for the camera and the lock, existing locks may be compatible. At launch, there are compatible smart locks from Kiwkset and Yale. At this time, the only camera option is the model provided by Amazon, which is available in a standalone version for those that already have a compatible lock.
The launch date for the service is November 8th in 37 cities and their surrounding areas. Most major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Seattle are launch cities.