Amazon.com has launched Amazon Key, an in-home delivery service exclusively for Amazon Prime members. The service relies on Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock. The Verge reports the camera is the hub, connected to the internet via home Wi-Fi. Then, the camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol used by many smart home devices. The service allows a delivery person to scan a barcode, sending a request to Amazon’s cloud services. If all checks out, the cloud sends a message back to the camera and allows the courier in. The video of a courier delivering an item can be viewed on your mobile phone. In addition, you can add services, such as home cleaning or a dog walker, to access your home if needed. See below to learn more.
Total Retail’s Take: A few weeks ago I shared my feelings on in-home delivery following Wal-Mart's announcement that it was launching a smart device in-home delivery service for its online grocery customers. That opinion hasn't changed. In theory, in-home delivery sounds like the next logical step in the online purchase experience, ensuring customers’ orders are safe in their homes even when they're not around to accept them. However, the practice tows the line between convenience and, well, creepiness. I lean to the side of creepiness.