Earlier today, Amazon took many of us by surprise by announcing its new Amazon Key services, along with the new Amazon Cloud Cam. These are designed to help make life just a bit easier for you, while making it possible for Amazon couriers to leave packages in your home even if you’re not there.
While there are plenty of varying opinions on whether Amazon Key is actually worth it, we take a look at 5 reasons why you should love, or hate, Amazon Key.
LOVE: Make sure that your package is delivered safely
The first reason why we love Amazon Key is the fact that it will help ensure that none of your packages will be stolen or damaged if you are away from home for the day, or for an extended period of time. In order for everything to work, you will need the Amazon Cloud Cam, and a compatible smart lock that has been installed.
Once those requirements are met, the courier will press a button on their own device asking Amazon for authorization. Once complete, your Cloud Cam will automatically turn on and begin recording, and at the same time, a notification will be sent to your device giving you a heads up of a package arriving and allowing you to watch the live stream to make sure nothing fishy is going on.
After the delivery has been completed, the Amazon courier will be required to lock your doors, ensuring that nobody else will be able to work their way into your home uninvited.
HATE: Requires you to disarm security system
Speaking of working their way into your home uninvited, there’s one huge caveat for those who are interested in the Amazon Key system – you need to disarm your security system. In the FAQ for the Amazon Key Kit, Amazon states the following:
Amazon Key is not integrated with home security systems. On the day of delivery, you will need to disarm your home security alarm. We do not recommend using in-home delivery if you are not comfortable disarming your security system on delivery day.
This means that you’ll need to keep your house insecure while you’re away, as the Amazon Key system does not work with home security systems. There is also no mention of compatibility being offered in the future, so you’ll have to choose wisely if you want to take advantage of what Amazon Key has to offer.
LOVE: Let the dogwalkers get to work
The other added benefit to the Amazon Key system is the ability to let those you trust into your home, even if you’re away. A few examples used in the Amazon Key listing are for dog walkers, or a cleaning crew to be able to enter your home and make sure that the puppies are taken out to do their business.
You could even set it up to let a family member get into the house while you’re on vacation to keep an eye on things, and the Cloud Cam will still let you keep an eye on everything that is going on while you’re gone. Plus, Amazon is planning to begin providing users the ability to sign up for services from the likes of Merry Maids, Rover.com, and Amazon Home Services.
HATE: Restricted lock selection
While the smart lock world is expanding and blowing up, Amazon Key won’t work with just any smart lock that you can find. Currently, when attempting to build an Amazon Key Kit, you are limited to just three smart lock options:
- Yale Assure Smart Lock – $249.99
- Kwikset SmartCode 914 – $199.99
- Kwikset Convert Smart Lock – $149.99
This means that if you already purchased a smart lock system, it is 100% useless if you want to use it conjunction with the Amazon Key services. So purchasing the Kit will bring your price to around $250 if you want to get started, but you’ll have to uninstall that old smart lock.
READ MORE: What’s the Best Smart Lock for Amazon Key?
LOVE: In-home kit installed for free
Now when it comes to installing these smart locks, things can be a bit finicky, and require more work than just your traditional door locks. So to help everyone out, Amazon is offering free In-Home Kit installation for FREE for a limited time. This will give you the help you need from professionals who know how to get everything set up, while also saving you from certain headaches.
HATE: Random people in your home
This is my biggest hangup with this system, and it’s the fact that people will be entering my home that I don’t know. Sure, there are a lot of fail-safes that Amazon has implemented, such as the need for couriers to contact the company when delivering packages. However, that doesn’t make me feel any better about strangers entering my home, even if I can see them on camera.
Maybe I’m on my own here, but there’s just something about strange people being able to enter my home when I’m away that I’m not necessarily okay with. What if something happens and a package arrives but the person forgets to lock the door behind them? That’s not even counting the possible criminal activity that could take place. Sure it may be a long shot, but it’s something that leaves me uneasy.
Are you signing up?
These are just some of the reasons why you should love or hate the new Amazon Key system, but we want to hear from you. Will you be purchasing the kit yourself? Or do you have too many concerns with the process that this is an instant “no” purchase decision? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.