Amazon to Sell Smart Locks So It Can Slip Packages Into Your Home

Amazon has plans to drop off packages directly into shoppers’ homes.

The world’s largest online retailer on Wednesday announced Amazon Key, a lock and camera system that users control remotely to let delivery associates slip goods into their houses. Customers can create temporary passcodes for friends and other services professionals to enter as well.

The move, in the works for more than a year, may help Amazon capture sales from shoppers who could not make it home to receive an order in person, and did not want the package stolen from their doorstep. It also signals Amazon‘s ambitions in the growing market for home security devices, where Alphabet Nest Labs competes.

“This is not an experiment for us,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of delivery technology, in an interview. “This is a core part of the Amazon shopping experience from this point forward.”

Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City on Jan. 29, 2016. (REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo)

Members of Amazon‘s Prime shopping club can pay $249.99 and up for a cloud-controlled camera and lock that the company offers to install. Delivery associates are told to ring a doorbell or knock when they arrive at someone’s house. If no one greets them, they press ‘unlock’ in a mobile app, and Amazon checks its systems in an instant to make sure the right associate and package are present.

The camera then streams video to the customer who remotely can watch the in-home delivery take place. The associate cannot proceed with other trips until the home is again locked.

It is unclear if such protections will persuade customers that the service is safe to use.

Larsen said theft was “not something that happens in practice,” based on early tests of the Amazon Key program.

He added that if a problem arises, “You can call customer service, file a claim and Amazon will work with you to make sure it’s right,” reimbursing customers in some cases.

Wal-Mart, Amazon‘s biggest retail rival, has similar plans. It said last month it would test delivering grocery items “straight into your fridge” with August Home, a smart lock business that Assa Abloy said it will acquire.

Amazon‘s new service goes live on Nov. 8 in 37 U.S. locations, the company said. The “Cloud Cam” is also available by itself for purchase, it said.

Reuters

 
 
 

Lawmakers Threaten to Use ‘Constitutional Weapons’ if DOJ Continues Stonewalling Document Requests

Lawmakers Threaten to Use ‘Constitutional Weapons’ if DOJ Continues Stonewalling Document Requests
House Speaker Paul Ryan told lawmakers and senior officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) ...
READ MORE >
 
US

Trump Backs Washington Post Workers in Pay Dispute With Jeff Bezos

Trump Backs Washington Post Workers in Pay Dispute With Jeff Bezos
President Donald Trump supported hundreds of Washington Post employees in their labor dispute against the paper's billionaire owner, ...
READ MORE >
 

20 Hurt, 1 Dead in New Jersey Shooting

20 Hurt, 1 Dead in New Jersey Shooting
At least 20 people were shot at an event in New Jersey, including a boy who is in ...
READ MORE >
 

Galapagos Volcano Erupts, Lava Flows Into Sea Threatening Wildlife

Galapagos Volcano Erupts, Lava Flows Into Sea Threatening Wildlife
A volcano erupted spewing out lava in the Galapagos Islands, threatening wildlife, officials from the Galapagos National Park ...
READ MORE >