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27 October 2017, 12:12 | Antoinette Holland
AmazonThe new Amazon Key service uses an app a camera and a smart lock to allow a driver to deliver a package inside a customers home
But sometimes the company's "innovation" can be a little... divisive. The service, paired with a new Amazon-built security camera called Cloud Cam, records deliveries, beaming live or recorded video to a smartphone app.
Amazon has already made inroads into the smart home market with Alexa, and it is clearly hoping to compete with companies like Nest, the popular smart security brand.
The kit includes an Amazon Cloud Cam and one of several compatible smart locks by manufacturers Yale and Kwikset.
Whether the convenience of Amazon Key outweighs privacy and security concerns, that is up to you to determine. You'll log on to the website or app of a service like Rover.com or Merry Maids, and there will be a button offering the option for in-home service through Amazon Key. Once you buy all the components, absolutely nothing. Once that's complete, the door unlocks and the Cloud Cam starts recording.
Moreover, the company has yet to clarify if someone with one of the compatible smart lock models will only need to buy the Cloud Cam or if he needs to buy the whole kit anyway. For now, they're limiting deliveries to Amazon teams and so it's only available in 37 cities across the US. This means that when the delivery driver turns up, they can request access to the residence and Amazon then verifies that the correct driver is at the correct address at the correct time.
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"I think what we're seeing more now than every is speed becoming the new currency of retail. Or if the dog didn't eat the dog food and was hungry and bit the Amazon guy, you'd be responsible for that". Prime customers can get same-day delivery, and drop off with an hour or two on some items.
We do not recommend using in-home delivery if your pet can access the front door on delivery day. But imagine if a courier could temporarily be given access to your home, so they could drop off your package and leave.
Of course, Amazon wasn't just thinking about deliveries when it designed the Amazon Key system: it will soon be available to professional services as well.
Allowing a stranger into your home on a regular basis sounds like an insanely risky idea.
"The race for in-home delivery is well underway, but Amazon seems to have the edge over Walmart even right out of the starting gates", said Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer, Kibo. In the coming months, it says Key will be integrated with over 1,200 service providers across 60 professions.
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"They're not something Amazon is using to analyze purchase behavior, or anything like that". You can give family and friends temporary, recurring or permanent access.
So how exactly will the system work?
Now, a lot of people are reacting to Amazon Key with an unqualified "nope!" And, for added peace of mind, in-home delivery is backed by Amazon's Happiness Guarantee. If everything checks out, the cloud grants permission by sending a message back to the camera, which starts recording.
What happens if someone is home on delivery day?
For all intents and purposes it is. Amazon will make sure the person is at the right home and unlock the door. Naturally, clients aren't always home to get their packages.
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