Amazon has just announced two new products that will help make the process of buying stuff from them even easier. That’s right, Amazon has come up with a new way of getting purchases to you with less hassle.
Amazon Key and Cloud Cam are now being sold together to make your home smarter and make buying from Amazon easier. They even have other uses beyond buying from Amazon that may make life more convenient for you.
How Amazon Key and Cloud Cam Work
Amazon Key is a smart lock that goes on your front door and that you control from an app. Amazon Cloud Cam is a video security camera you put near your front door to monitor who is opening your door.
When Amazon Key unlocks your door, Cloud Cam can show you live video so you can watch who is coming into your home. You can also watch a recorded video later to see who has been in your house.
This video from Amazon shows how it works:
In-home deliveries using Amazon Key can be made inside your door, preventing packages from being left outside where they can be stolen or subject to rain, snow and wind.
When you order an eligible Amazon item, you can choose Key delivery at checkout. You’ll receive a notice with a date and time period for delivery.
The delivery person will knock on your door first (to be sure no one is home and there are no ferocious pets who don’t fully appreciate the convenience of Amazon Key).
Then the delivery person will scan the package and Amazon will unlock the Amazon Key. The delivery person won’t get a passcode to open the door, Amazon does the unlocking remotely.
The package will be slid inside your house. Ideally the delivery person is not supposed to actually enter the house if it can be avoided.
While the delivery is happening, Cloud Cam records video of the delivery and live streams it to your phone. You can watch the delivery as it happens or view the video later to see how the delivery went.
Amazon also intends to expand the use of Amazon Key to affiliated service providers such as Merry Maids and Rover.com dog walking service. It hopes to have over 1200 service providers use the Amazon Key service some day.
Amazon wants to be sure its customers are satisfied with Amazon Key deliveries so Amazon is giving the Amazon Key Happiness Guarantee with purchases delivered inside the home using Amazon Key.
From Amazon: “We want you to have peace of mind when you use Amazon Key to receive in-home deliveries. If any Amazon Key in-home delivery was not completed to your satisfaction, or your product or property was damaged as a direct result of the delivery, we’ll work with you to correct the problem.”
You can read more at the Amazon Happiness Guarantee page.
Other Uses for Amazon Key and Cloud Cam
Of course, you could use Amazon Key and Cloud Cam for purposes beyond getting in-home deliveries from Amazon. Like any smart lock, Amazon Key can unlock your door remotely to let in guests, workers, family members and even yourself.
Cloud Cam can work as a security camera just as other Internet-connected security cameras do to monitor what is going on in your home. You will be able to buy additional Cloud Cams to monitor your entire house, except for the outside as Cloud Cam isn’t weather-proof.
But the unique feature of Amazon Key and Cloud Cam is that they are connected to each other, to start video monitoring when the door is unlocked. And, they can be used to allow for in-home deliveries by Amazon and, in the future, its service partners.
The Benefits of Convenience
Having Amazon Key and Cloud Cam means you can have packages delivered inside your house when you’re not at home. You can travel far from home for an extended period of time and be assured that your Amazon packages are safely inside your house.
You don’t have to worry that someone will steal the packages or that the packages on your doorstep will signal to burglars that no one is home.
Your packages won’t get wet in the rain or snow. They won’t blow away in a neighbor’s yard or into the street.
You never have to worry about locking yourself out of your house, or about letting someone in when you can’t get home in time.
You can watch the inside of your home to see what is going on and see recorded video of what has happened inside your home.
With all of the benefits of Amazon Key and Cloud Cam also come some risks. People who already have an Amazon Echo in their house may have grown comfortable with their personal data being shared with Amazon but some people may be uncomfortable with Amazon learning information about them through Amazon Key and Cloud Cam.
Amazon also has the ability to unlock your home using Amazon Key. While the likelihood of Amazon using this ability for criminal purposes is extremely remote, there is the danger of hackers being able to crack the system. But that is true for any smart lock.
The system could also break, leaving you locked out of your home if you don’t bring a key with you when you leave home.
And you are relying on Amazon and the Happiness Guarantee to allow complete strangers into your home when you’re not there.
Folks on Twitter had fun imagining what could go wrong:
Amazon: do we have permission to leave your package using Amazon Key?
— Umair Siddiqui (@OfficialUmairS) October 25, 2017
Amazon Key and Cloud Cam are being sold together with prices beginning at $249. Your price may vary depending on the type of Amazon Key lock you choose. Amazon offers Amazon Key locks from makers Yale and Kwikset.
You can check out the selection and purchase Amazon Key and Cloud Camera at the Amazon Key product page.
Amazon Key is only being offered to Prime customers in certain cities in the US at first. You can check whether your home is eligible by entering your zip code on the product page or by checking Amazon’s list of Amazon Key Supported Cities and Surrounding Areas.
Amazon is offering free installation of Amazon Key by a professional who will come to your house.
You can pre-order Amazon Key now for delivery beginning November 8.
Do you like the idea of in-home delivery using Amazon Key and Cloud Cam? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll:
What do you think of Amazon Key and Cloud Cam? Do you like the convenience of in-home delivery? Do you think the risks outweigh the benefits?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!