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Amazon Key launches in-home delivery option in US

Amazon has announced the launch of Amazon Key, allowing deliveries to be made into the home even when a customer isn’t in.

The service will initially launch on November 8 in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the US with further locations to be added later. It is available at no extra cost for Prime members and is simply selected as an ‘in-home’ option when a customer is ordering.

Although the service is free members need the Amazon Key In-home kit which includes the Amazon Cloud Cam and one of several compatible smart locks. The price for the kit starts at $249.99.

Once a driver wants access to a customer’s home to deliver a package the driver is verified through an encrypted authentication process to ensure they are at the right address at the right time. Once verification is completed Amazon Cloud Cam starts recording and the door is unlocked, meaning that no access codes or keys are ever given to the drivers themselves. Customers can therefore either see a delivery happening live or review a video of the delivery after it’s completed.

“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.”

However Andy Hill, director at Sorted, said he was nervous about the new offering. ‘There’s little doubt that the launch of Amazon Key is in response to the connected customer’s demands for hyper-convenience in the delivery experience.  However, with their Amazon Go mobile capabilities, it’s a little surprising that Amazon hasn’t focused in on ‘delivery to device’ fulfillment and, instead, have opted for a high-risk proposition that prompts security concerns.  If your front door is essentially controlled by the internet, this poses risks should there be a data or security breach. Certainly in the UK, there are many lower risk, yet still customer-focused, options that haven’t fully been exploited yet, without the need for invading personal space,” he said.

Image credit: Amazon

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