Amazon now delivers stuff inside your home when you're not there

Amazon Key is now available for Prime members in the Twin Cities.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

No more thief-tempting boxes on the doorstep, Amazon is now offering to leave packages inside your home.

The online giant announced the launch of Amazon Key on Wednesday, which is available in select locations across the country including the Twin Cities.

But if you want to allow a stranger into your home when you're not there, not only do you have to be a $99-a-year Prime member, you also have to pay the company $249.99.

That gets your the Amazon Key In-Home kit, comprising a smart lock that grants access the delivery person, and an Amazon Cloud Cam indoor security camera so you can keep an eye on them via a phone/tablet app while the delivery is being carried out.

The smart lock code can also be given out to basically anyone you want to give access to your home when you're not there, with Amazon using this to promote its "Home Services" program, which offers things like maid services and dog walkers.

This appears to be the next step in the ongoing battle between America's biggest retailers, with Amazon's announcement coming about 6 weeks after Walmart confirmed it's trialling a similar delivery service bringing groceries straight to your fridge while you're at work.

For all the qualms you might have about letting a stranger into your house, a survey a few years back revealed 23 million people have had packages stolen from doorsteps before they had a chance to open them, as the Huffington Post reports.

How does Amazon Key work?

The day of your delivery you'll receive a notification in the morning with a 4-hour delivery window when the driver will arrive at your home.

You'll then get a notification in your device saying "Arriving Now" when they get there, and you can choose to watch the delivery happening live.

Despite the smart lock, the delivery person will still knock first, and then requests to unlock your door with their handheld scanner.

Amazon then verifies the driver's near your door and the package is the right one, and then automatically turned on the Cloud Cam in your home and unlocks your door.

They'll then place the package just inside your door.

One worrying aspect of it is that the smart lock is not compatible with home security systems, with Amazon saying on its FAQ section that you'll need to disable it the morning of the delivery.

It does not address what happens if the delivery person comes face-to-face with a guard dog...

Next Up

Bryan Ellinger

Charges: Trail of Terror supervisor sexually assaulted 3 teenage employees

Bryan Ellinger was arrested in January accused of raping a 15-year-old employee. Two more women have come forward accusing him of sexually assaulted them as teens.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 8.52.53 AM

Donations flood in for N. Minneapolis teen who penned Star Tribune column

Marcus Hunter gained recognition for writing about his experience as a Black teen in North Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 7.49.11 AM

Fatal crash victim identified as newlywed from Buffalo

Whitney Nelson died after a two-vehicle crash near Glencoe Tuesday.

vaccine, covid

Roy Wilkins Auditorium to become MN's 5th large-scale vaccination site

Gov. Tim Walz is holding a media call Friday amid the release of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

ambulance

Police searching for driver after fatal hit-and-run in Minneapolis

Police say the driver of a cream or white SUV hit a man in the road and then fled.

bloomington police incident

Area of Bloomington shut down, police have building surrounded

Portions of Lyndale Avenue and American Boulevard are closed.

police lights

Attempted luring of 14-year-old girl reported in West St. Paul

The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 9.19.48 PM

Worker, 18, suffers serious electric shock at Vikings apartments site

The worker was reportedly in a critical condition Thursday.

49920879552_ef6458affd_o2

As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett's group out of potential Timberwolves sale

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that Garnett's group was not one of "more than 10" to buy the team.

Related

Now you can get stuff from Best Buy delivered to your door the same day

Best Buy has expanded same-day delivery to the Twin Cities.

USB cables: The Amazon product Twin Cities shoppers can't wait to buy

Amazon has revealed which products Twin Cities shoppers urgently need, by analyzing its same-day deliveries.

You can get local, handmade gifts delivered in 2 hours with Amazon Prime Now

This sure seems like another swipe at craft competitor Etsy.

Google and Amazon are squabbling, and we're the losers

The tech giants are engaged in a tit-for-tat device war.

Amazon jobs are opening up at warehouses ahead of the holidays – including in Minnesota

Warehouse jobs in the Twin Cities will be available – here's what they pay.