Amazon announced a new service in the US today that will let the tech giant right inside the front door. The service, Amazon Key, is for Prime members, and comes with a kit that includes the company's Cloud Cam security camera and a compatible smart lock.
Here's how it works: Once Amazon authorizes a delivery, the company will turn on the Cloud Cam and unlock your door, allowing the courier to drop off your package. You'll be able to watch it happen live or later via a recording from the cam.
Amazon is marketing the service as an advanced alternative to the key under the mat — you can choose who has access to your home, and you'll get a notification whenever someone comes or goes. It's also a way for Amazon to entice you to prioritise its services. According to the Amazon Key announcement, the company is rolling out over 1200 services "in the coming months," including a cleaning service from Merry Maids and a pet-sitting and dog walking from Rover.com.
With Amazon Key, professionals from Amazon Home Services will be able to easily get into your home, whether it's to clean it up or pick up your pooch for a stroll around the neighbourhood. For those who might not feel comfortable with strangers letting themselves in and out of their home, Amazon is trying to ease your worried mind with its smart security camera. So, don't panic: If shit goes awry, you can watch it live, in high definition!
It's unclear how Amazon might handle a rogue service provider. For example, if they were to wreck something out of view of the Cloud Cam. Or, more insidiously, if there was a security issue with your smart lock, allowing anyone access into your home. But if you're still intrigued, Key will set you back $US250 and will be available in 37 US cities on November 8.
Amazon already has an ear in the home with its Alexa devices, and it's teased us with the promise of fast access to goods via Dash buttons, Amazon Restaurants, and Whole Foods deliveries. With Key, Amazon is encouraging you not to just have an ear in the home, but yet another eye.
And more importantly: a bunch of strangers, too. The company is putting a lot of trust in people by means of technology. But tech isn't always reliable, and people can be shitty. Nevertheless, the company hopes you'll look past these two truths and just hand over the keys.