Would You Let Amazon Into Your House to Deliver a Package?
Amazon has long been at the forefront of delivery innovation, employing everything from drones to storage lockers to ensure customers receive their packages as quickly and easily as possible. But their latest method has some people scratching their heads. It's called Amazon Key, and it allows the company to drop packages directly into the homes of customers using a groundbreaking lock and camera system (not to mention a whole lot of trust on the part of consumers).
Okay, so not just any old lock and camera will do. The service employs Cloud Cam, an Alexa-enabled device that acts as the brains for a compatible “smart lock”, deciding when it should open your door to receive a delivery.
“Each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer's home, Amazon verifies that the correct driver is at the right address, at the intended time, through an encrypted authentication process,” Amazon explains in a statement. “Once this process is successfully completed, Amazon Cloud Cam starts recording and the door is then unlocked. No access codes or keys are ever provided to delivery drivers.”
You also receive a notification that your package has arrived, along with a short video of it being delivered. Bundled with a lock, it costs $250, which isn't bad for something that could conceivably mean never having to deal with package delivery drama again.
But, as Twitter has already pointed out, how many of us are really comfortable giving a machine permission to allow strangers into our homes? Is that really a good idea? Maybe in a perfect world where no one would ever take advantage, sure, but I think we have copious evidence that we are not living in anything remotely resembling that world.
I can't imagine there were a lot of women (or perhaps any) on the team that came up with Amazon Key. Good lord.
— Charlotte Clymer ?️? (@cmclymer) October 25, 2017
Oh god, I hadn't even considered how scary this side of #AmazonKey is. It's way too easy to imagine the news. "Black Amazon courier shot upon entering house." Ugh. Amazon needs a service that exposes racists. https://t.co/feD7g1K4vH
— Allie Goertz (@AllieGoertz) October 25, 2017
Amazon Key can also be used by professionals from Amazon Home Services, a database that connects customers with local dog walkers, house cleaners, and people who actually understand how furniture is supposed to be assembled. According to Gizmodo, Amazon has partnered with Merry Maids and Rover.com to offer more of these services in the coming months. The system will also allow you to unlock your door remotely for family or friends.
It all sounds very convenient. That is, until a disgruntled employee goes rogue in somebody's house. But fear not! If that happens to you, at least you'll be able to watch the destruction of your home happening in real time.