PHOENIX (KSAZ) — Would you let a stranger in your house to drop off a package? Amazon hopes so.
The online retailer said Wednesday that it will launch a service next month called Amazon Key that would allow delivery people to walk into your home and drop off a box when you’re not there.
Those who want to use the service would need to be an Amazon Prime member and would have to buy a camera and a Wi-Fi-connected lock from the Seattle-based company that starts at $250. Shoppers will then be able to select in-home delivery on the Amazon app.
When the delivery person shows up, they will knock first, scan the package and Amazon will make sure the delivery person is at the right home and unlock the door. No codes are needed and the indoor camera will record the in-home delivery.
Walmart is testing a similar service in California’s Silicon Valley, which lets delivery people drop off packages or stock the fridge with groceries bought from Walmart.com. The delivery person is given a one-time code to open the door and Walmart said customers will get an alert on their smartphones when someone enters.
Amazon.com Inc. said its service will be available Nov. 8 in 37 cities, including Atlanta, Cleveland and Denver. The company said the smart lock can also be used to let in housekeepers to scrub the kitchen, dog walkers to take your furry friend for a walk or out-of-town guests who want to make themselves at home.
The company said its in-home delivery service is covered by the Amazon Key Happiness Guarantee, which covers delivery issues, property damage or theft. And Amazon said the deliveries are carried out by drivers who are vetted with background checks and driving record reviews.
A Scottsdale homeowner who was the victim of a “porch pirate” a few months ago called the idea “terrible”.
“Firstly, I would never let a stranger in my house, unless I was around,” said the homeowner, who was only identified as “Wayne”. “The second thing is, if this is all cloud-based, it’s subject to getting hacked.”
Wayne said he fears the device is not secure from hacking.
“They’ll just hack in and open your front door,” said Wayne.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to the report.
Find out more: www.amazon.com/key