The Tech Moves

Amazon Key opens your home for indoor deliveries

Rachel England, @rachel_england

Amazon’s gone to a lot of effort to make its services as convenient as possible — free delivery, lightning fast delivery, delivery from the sky (well, soon, probably) — now it’s eliminating the need for you to even be at home to receive your packages (or to have a designated safe place), because its couriers can now simply let themselves into your property.

It’s not as sinister as it sounds, of course. The Prime members-only service, called Amazon Key, uses a smart lock and connected camera. When a delivery is made the courier scans the package’s barcode which sends an access request to Amazon’s cloud. When it grants permission, the camera starts recording, the courier swipes a prompt on their app and then your door unlocks. They leave the package by the door and relock it on their way out. You’ll get a notification that the delivery has been made, along with a video of the drop-off to reassure you everything was done above board.

Amazon has designed the service with deliveries in mind, but Key has a bunch of other uses, too. For example, you can use it to give permanent access to people you trust or temporary access to visitors such as dog-walkers, cleaners or guests (this could be especially helpful for Airbnbhosts).

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