Amazon Key Uses A Smart Lock And Cloud Cam To Unlock Your Front Door For In-Home Deliveries

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Over the past two decades, Amazon has grown to become the dominant force in the online retail space, and has changed our expectations for how fast we receive items with 2-day Prime shipping. That has expanded with services like Prime Now, which can have a package on your front door within 1 hours of placing an order. Now, the retail giant is taking those efforts one step further with Amazon Key, which is a new service that allows couriers to deliver a package inside your home while you are away.

The benefits of such a service are readily apparent. If you have a high-dollar item like a flat-screen TV or an expensive notebook being delivered to your home, but you work a regular to 9-to-5 job, you'd rather not have those precious items sitting on your doorstep for hours. Amazon Key, which is available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, is a service that uses a smart lock and a connected camera called the Cloud Cam. The Cloud Cam offers a 1080p video resolution, features night mode capabilities, two-way audio support and works with Amazon Alexa.

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So how does it work? Well, when a delivery driver arrives at your front door with an Amazon package, a barcode on the package is scanned. At this time, Amazon verifies that the delivery driver is at the exact location at the correct time through its own authentication process. Once that authentication is complete, the Cloud Cam begins recording so that the homeowner can see exactly what it taking place.

Using a mobile app, the delivery driver is then granted access to unlock your door, allowing them to leave the package inside. Once they driver closes the door to leave, the door will re-lock. After the entire process has been completed, Amazon will notify you with an email which has video attached of the entire drop-off process.

While the service is of course primarily designed for Amazon deliveries, it could also be used to give temporary access to your home to friends, relatives, or for services like Airbnb.

“Amazon Key gives customers peace of mind knowing their orders have been safely delivered to their homes and are waiting for them when they walk through their doors,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, Amazon. “Now, Prime members can select in-home delivery and conveniently see their packages being delivered right from their mobile phones.”

The Amazon Key In-Home Kit is currently available for pre-order for Prime members and is priced at $249.99. The kit includes a Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock from "leading lock manufactures" like Yale and Kwikset. The actual Amazon Key service will be available on November 8th. The Cloud Cam is also available separately for $119.99.