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Shiny Gadget of the Month: Amazon Key

By November 11, 2017 News

Smart homes and technology can be great. Amazon has been beefing up their smart home offering consistently over the past couple years or so and since it has a number of devices that are already in your home why not let a person in next. Yes, the Amazon Key is a technology package that allows Amazon to deliver into your home while you are away.

Initially it will be rolling out in 37 US metropolitan areas. The idea is to help prevent package theft which is more common for city dwellers, but even happens in the suburbs too. Amazon hopes to eventually be able to incorporate this with local businesses such as house cleaners or dog walkers.

The concept is not revolutionary, Amazon had been offering lockers in nearby businesses that you could have items delivered to already. Walmart announced they would be testing straight to your fridge grocery delivery with smart locks and in-home delivery too.

The way this all works is with the use of an Amazon cloud cam and a smart lock. When the delivery person comes to the door they scan the package and knock first, if no one answers they use Amazon’s delivery app to unlock the door to crack it open and drop the package inside, then lock the door with their phone. All while your cloud cam records this and you can even view remotely from your phone.

Obviously, this is not for everyone and many will look at it as another invasion of privacy like they do with smart home assistants that are always listening. The package also costs $250 for the camera and smart lock. Amazon has stressed that they have trained employees on this and only Amazon delivery services will make these deliveries, not USPS or UPS, etc. They have also been instructed to not actually enter the home, but just to slip the package inside. It certainly seems like more and more businesses are trying to innovate and make life easier for some, but it will take some time before people warm up to ideas like this. It will be interesting to see how it is adopted in the coming months.