Amazon's path to world domination now includes tackling those annoying "missed delivery" slips on your front door. With the company's latest delivery service, Amazon Key, you'll be able to grant delivery men and women access inside your home to drop off your order.
Here's how it works: If you're an Amazon Prime member, you're eligible for the service and can order the $249.99 Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which comes with an indoor security camera and smart lock. You can set these up yourself or, for now, hire an expert to do it under the free installation offer. After everything is set up, you'll be able to select a new delivery option, "free in-home delivery," when checking out online or through the Amazon app.
Right before your package is delivered, Amazon will notify you, and you'll be able to watch the delivery person enter your home and drop off your order live through the Amazon Key App. If you're in a meeting or out to dinner and miss the live delivery, you'll still be able to watch a recording later on. A second notification will let you know when the delivery is complete and your door has been relocked.
The usefulness of Amazon Key extends beyond package deliveries: You'll be able to give access to friends and family, as well as house cleaners and other services through — what else — Amazon Home Services.
According to an Amazon press release, whenever someone requests access to your pad, Amazon will verify it's the right person in the right place at the right time. From there, they'll let them open the door through "an encrypted authentication process" as opposed to the alternative — entering a pin through a digital keypad. Amazon says you can specify how long someone has access to your home. So, for example, if you only have a dog walker for a week, you can make sure they can only enter during that limited timeframe.
For all of its convenience and seemingly secure checkpoints — live streaming video, encrypted access, and authentication — there's still something very Black Mirror-esque to Amazon Key. Sure, it's a lot more high tech than hiding a key under the potted plant. But at a time when people are increasingly questioning the control tech companies have over their lives, Key is likely to raise eyebrows among those who don't like the idea of strangers entering their home, even if they can watch them doing it.
Do you want your packages delivered on time? Absolutely. Are you okay with someone coming in the door, without you present, do to so? Maybe not. As the consumer, you'll need to decide where you draw the line.