Amazon's New Plan for Home Deliveries: Hand Over the Keys

Laverne Mann
October 26, 2017

It sounds like Amazon has thought this through completely, but we still expect to see some push back against Key and the idea of granting Amazon drivers access to your home when you're not around.

Amazon Key will be available on November 8 in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the US, with more locations rolling out over time. It requires an Amazon Prime membership and a $250 installation kit.

Obviously, the areas in which Amazon Key will first launch include major metropolitan areas around the country, with all of the usual suspects like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC all present and accounted for. The two situations are expensive for organizations like Amazon, which at that point need to handle calls from irritated customers and refill lost requests. No passcodes, no fuss.

Today, Amazon announced yet another way for Prime members to get their packages.

The package recipient gets notifications throughout, including a time-stamped log and the possibility to watch a live video of the delivery or a recording afterward.

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"This state-of-the-art technology doesn't simply replace a key with a digital passcode", according to the press release. It is created to help customers who can not stay at home waiting for deliveries and to address the problem of theft of parcels left outside. The entire process is done without a key or code - and the entire delivery is recorded on a camera that uploads to the cloud.

The startup cost to use the otherwise free in-home delivery system may dissuade some users.

The company has rolled out a camera and compatible lock that grants your delivery person access to your home in order to combat porch pirates, who steal packages from unsuspecting victims. Customers can install the In-Home Kit themselves or take advantage of free professional installation. The Key app and the actual delivery service kick off on November 8. Customers can set the frequency and length of time a person has access, and add or remove contacts as they see fit. Still, for those who don't mind, Amazon Key should ensure that your deliveries are safe from those who would make off with them when they're left outside the front door.

Amazon envisions the new service will extend beyond deliveries and into other home services. Shoppers will then be able to choose in-home delivery as an option in the Amazon app. Walmart's grocery option is being done in partnership with August Home, a tech company that works on home security.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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