Amazon wants customers to open homes to deliveries

The all-new Amazon Cloud Cam available for pre-order today

Amazon is stepping up its home delivery options - and taking a swing at rival Walmart at the same time. The courier then gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen, and voilĂ , your door unlocks. No access codes or keys are ever provided to delivery drivers. But Amazon Key adds an unpredictable element back into the tech-efficient equation, one that typically companies like Amazon are trying to do away with: humans.

Amazon wants to enter your house, this time physically to drop off your packages.

There's certainly a demand for a more customer-friendly delivery system: in a survey of Britons' top "first world problems" earlier this month, the number one pet hate was having to stay at home to wait for packages.

How does Amazon Key work?

Amazon knows that it's asking a lot of consumers with its new Key service. The Cloud Cam is an extra layer of security, starting to record and capture any nefarious activity once the in-home delivery is approved by Amazon.

The online retail giant is launching the service in some parts of the U.S. in November and is selling an Amazon Key starter kit - including a camera and smart lock - for $US250 ($A324).

For now, you can use it for Amazon product deliveries as well as services from its Home Services division.

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While Amazon isn't going to allow any third-party delivery services to get inside your house with Key (at least not at launch), the company is hoping that you'll use Key when ordering stuff like dog walking or kitchen cleaning from its Amazon Home Services division. And with the option requiring a specific camera that it sells, the move helps Amazon tie customers even closer to its gadgets as well as the items it delivers.

Amazon key - shifting my anxiety over stolen packages on my doorstep to strangers hiding in my closet.

But you can also grant permanent/one-time/recurring access to friends and family, through the app or SMS.

The in-home delivery service is another example of Amazon inventing new ways to reach into consumer wallets without an obvious business case, said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner of RSR Research.

Customers who want to use the service would need to be Amazon Prime members and would have to buy a camera and a Wi-Fi-connected lock from the Seattle-based company that starts at $250. The worker scans the package which sends a message to the cloud, then down to the smart lock. Amazon will make sure the person is at the right home and unlock the door.

Yes, as long as the delivery driver can access and enter your front door. Even though they are given instructions to just slip the package inside the door, the fact that basically, a stranger can have access to your house is uncomfortable. It also lets you lock and unlock your door lock.


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