You may have thought the pinnacle of convenience was having your online orders delivered to your front door. But that was before Amazon Key, a solution from the online retail giant that doesn’t want to stop at your front door, but would rather go right through it. This innovation from Amazon, introduced in October 2017, promises actual in-home delivery at no extra cost to Amazon Prime members … sort of. You need to order the Amazon Key In-Home Kit in order to get everything to work.
The service allows Amazon Prime members to receive in-home delivery and grant secure home access to both guests and service professionals. With a compatible smart lock (like those from Yale or Kwikset) and the new Amazon Cloud Cam, you will be able to decide who you let into your home, controlling your front door with your smartphone.
When a delivery person arrives at your home, he or she scans the package’s bar code. Once Amazon determines that the correct driver has arrived at the correct address at the correct time, the Amazon Cloud Cam is automatically triggered to begin recording, and the smart lock grants access to your home. That means that you never have to provide an access code or hide a key — everything is done via the cloud (and through smart home protocol Zigbee).
When the delivery is complete, the courier simply relocks the door, and you will be able to view video footage of the entire process for peace of mind.
And now, for an extra layer of security, the Amazon Key app has received an update that introduces fingerprint authentication. Now, in order for you to unlock your door from the Key app, you’ll first have to prove that you are, in fact, authorized to let someone in. Without fingerprint authentication, just about anyone who gets their hands on your phone would be able to go into the app and begin unlocking your door willy-nilly. The update should be live in the updated Key app on the Play Store, but has not yet rolled out for iPhone users.
Not only does this work for package delivery, but also for services. Amazon Key can also offer easy yet secure access to your house cleaners, your dog walker, or your friends and family. Simply set the frequency and length of time to which an individual has access to your front door, and add or remove contacts as needed.
In the next few months, Amazon Key is said to be integrating with thousands of providers for professional service scheduling, including Merry Maids, Rover.com, and more than 1,200 services from providers across 60 professions by way of Amazon Home Services.
“Amazon Key gives customers peace of mind knowing their orders have been safely delivered to their homes and are waiting for them when they walk through their doors,” said Peter Larsen, vice president of delivery technology at Amazon. “Now, Prime members can select in-home delivery and conveniently see their packages being delivered right from their mobile phones.”
Updated on March 21, 2018: Amazon Key adds fingerprint authentication to its Android app.