Amazon has become a household name, but would you grant the company a key to your front door for deliveries?
Amazon has recently announced the launch of the Amazon Key. An innovation in convenience, the Key is available as a set comprised of a camera, an app and a smart lock system for your door that comes to a retail price of $250. As of now, the Key is only available to Amazon Prime members. This new product has been met with skepticism from consumers since it was announced in October.
The smart lock system is programmed to know when the package is supposed to be delivered and will only open if the package is scanned. The camera is meant to be mounted in the house pointed towards the door. The app will sync to the camera and the lock system to notify you when the package is being delivered so that you can watch the delivery in real time from outside your home. Amazon has announced future plans to expand the Key to include other services such as dog walkers or maids.
The Key also allows the user to run errands or go to work and still ensure the safety of their packages. The ultimate goal of the product is convenience. Amazon Prime members can schedule an in-home delivery and watch the delivery without having to rearrange their schedule. For many, paying $250 once is worth ensuring that their packages are delivered safely and on time, especially if they frequently make online purchases.
Offering Amazon access to your house and belongings leads to some serious concerns. How does the lock confirm that the person at your door is a deliveryman? The lock supposedly confirms the time and address that the package is set to be delivered to.
In reality, this system opens up many new ways that unwanted individuals can access your home and belongings as well, whether they be a delivery person taking advantage of the situation or someone deliberately hacking the system to steal from your home or attack the home owner.
There is also the issue of privacy. With a camera in your house recording at all times, there is a possibility of audio or video being recorded and saved to Amazon databases to be sold to research companies.
Concerns have also arisen in regards to accidental damages to property during the delivery process. Pets, too, also pose a problem. Some people are afraid of pets escaping the house, or even pets attacking delivery persons.
The Key is a little ahead of it’s time. It is inconvenient to have to wait for a delivery or risk having your package stolen or destroyed by the elements. In theory, this could be a great service and the gateway to a slew of innovative business ventures for Amazon. We have to ask ourselves, though, if it is worth risking our privacy, personal safety and belongings. Amazon recognizes the drive for innovation and convenience, but time will tell if it has overshot the mark with this invention.