New Amazon service lets deliverers into customers' homes

Amazon’s Cloud Cam mounted on a wall    

Amazon’s Cloud Cam mounted on a wall Amazon

Amazon Key works in two parts: choosing in-home delivery while checking out on Amazon and providing access to your home through Amazon's new Key in-home kit, which includes a smart lock provided by Kwikset or Yale and a special version of the company's new Cloud Cam security camera. Just say, "Alexa, show me the [camera name]" to easily see the feed from anywhere in the house. The gadgets are required for the service. The system unlocks the door automatically - without a code - and turns on the security camera as the delivery person opens the door and sets the package down inside.

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. Couriers will be able to unlock front doors after they have scanned the package to confirm its arrival.

The service is likely to be more of a hit with younger families, said Timothy Carone, an associate teaching professor at University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

"Amazon will have to address those inevitable privacy concerns consumers have over time", Blaber said.

Amazon today announced Amazon Key, a new service exclusively for Prime members that radically improves the convenience of receiving deliveries.

Amazon Key allows customers to have their packages securely delivered inside their home without having to be there.

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

"People have a hard time letting cleaning people into their house if they haven't been properly vetted", said Ivan Hofmann, a former FedEx Corp. executive and transportation-industry consultant. Amazon Key will launch in 37 cities and surrounding areas, including Seattle and the Eastside, starting November 8.

On the off-chance something goes awry, the service also includes something approximating insurance, called the Amazon Key Happiness Guarantee.

Homeowners and renters may worry about inviting unknown individuals inside, but Amazon insists those delivering its packages "are thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews".

The company said the smart lock can also be used to let in out-of-town guests who want to make themselves at home.

The online retailer on Wednesday introduced Amazon Key, a program for Amazon Prime members that, when paired with an internet-connected door lock, grants entry to delivery people or other authorized folks.

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