In the fight against porch thieves, Amazon has come up with a solution. The plan involves unlocking your front door and safely delivering your packages when you are not home.
Amazon is launching a delivery system that allows couriers to leave packages inside your house or apartment. The entire process is done without a key or code and will be recorded on a camera that uploads to the cloud.
“I think it goes to show that Amazon is thinking very holistically about its products and services and how it ties all of its investments together in the smart home and retail,” Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight, told NBC News.
The new delivery system will not be cheap. In the 37 cities where it is launching, Prime Members will be first required to order the $250 Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which includes Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock.
Once that system is set up, customers can choose “in-home delivery” at no extra cost. Shortly before a package is about to be delivered, Amazon will send a notification that will allow a customer to cancel the delivery, request the package be left outside, or view the live feed of the delivery.
Amazon verifies the driver is at the right address at the intended time and the driver is let into your home by unlocking the door and the Cloud Cam starts recording.
This comes on the heels of Walmart announcement last month that it would test the delivery of packages and even groceries with the perk of putting the groceries away in your refrigerator for those customers with smart home products in the Silicon Valley area.
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said, “Amazon is one of the most trusted consumer brands, so I believe over time, with an electronic lock and camera, consumers will become more comfortable,” said Moorhead.
Amazon envisions this new service will go beyond deliveries and allow for other home services. The Amazon Key platform could possibly be integrated with thousands of services, from dog walkers to house cleaners, allowing in scheduled appointments without worrying about someone having a physical key.
“Amazon will have to address those inevitable privacy concerns consumers have over time,” Blaber said. “But I think it is the first step for something that — in years to come — we will see as perfectly normal.”