Not home? Amazon Key lets the delivery person slip inside

Not home? Amazon Key lets the delivery person slip inside

Not home? Amazon Key lets the delivery person slip inside

Amazon Key will make customers' lives easier in many ways-not just through delivery. The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices. After the request is authenticated, the Cloud Cam starts recording the delivery and the door is unlocked.

Should everything come back OK, your smart lock will click open and the camera inside the house will turn on and start recording the drop-off. But the other piece, the connected camera, is made by Amazon, and that's a really big deal.

Now, it's worth pointing out that Amazon Key isn't compatible with other security systems you already have in your home.

The system is based on a combination of Amazon Cloud Cam-a home security camera created to work with Alexa-and a compatible third-party smartlock. Amazon considers Prime members critical to its growth, because on average they spend $1,300 a year on purchases - almost twice as much as non-Prime members. The service will coincide with Prime's same-day, one-way and two-day shopping options, and it is free for Prime members.

Amazon wants to enter your house, this time physically to drop off your packages.

The Key bundle will cost US$249.99, and include the smart lock, the Cloud Cam, and installation services. Sacramento customers will be able to begin using Amazon Key Nov. 8.

"We do not recommend using in-home delivery if your pet can access the front door on delivery day", the company said. It's only available in the 37 markets where Amazon's own logistics crew does deliveries.

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Prime members can pre-order the camera, but the Amazon Key service will launch on November 8 in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the United States.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said trust in Amazon - and the technology - makes this the next logical step for the company to stitch together its services.

"Alexa, is it a good idea to let strangers into my house?"

So, just to be clear: Amazon Key creates the dual (albeit uncommon) possibilities that you will hurt your delivery person and that your delivery person will hurt you. If they need to deliver a package still, they will simply follow the standard Amazon delivery process. Amazon can then grant its delivery drivers access to your home remotely, and send you a live feed of the delivery as it's happening.

Even if you choose in-home delivery, couriers are instructed to ring the bell or knock on the door first. The courier is then prompted on their smartphone app, which then alerts the camera to let unlock the door.

Using the Amazon Key app, customers can track their in-home delivery with real-time notifications, watch the delivery happen live, or review a video after the delivery is complete, according to a video from Amazon.

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