Virtual mega-store and shipping service Amazon has always been an innovator. Continuing that trend, they’ve just launched a new service, and it’s bound to be a controversial one. Meet Amazon Key, the remote locker-slash-unlocker of your front door.
Virtual Key is a service that will be available exclusively to Prime members and will allow the company’s employees to let themselves into your home and set your packages just inside the entrance. Now, before you hang your red flags everywhere, hear them out – there are a few security measures in place to make sure their couriers don’t develop sticky fingers.
First, you are able to disable any and all access to your house at any time, including against the couriers. Couriers must knock before entering, and if access is denied, they will follow standard delivery procedure. Second, you also have the option to allow certain other people in, such as dog walkers or house cleaners from specific companies.
Lastly, a security camera delivers live feed whenever you want, so you can watch the door and make sure no pilfering is going on. Amazon Key’s companion app notifies you whenever the courier arrives at your house, when your door is unlocked, and when it’s re-locked, so you’re always in the loop.
Seems as airtight as tech can get these days. The obvious advantage to Amazon Key is that your goods aren’t just sitting out in the open or someone to walk along and nab for themselves. Hacking the Amazon Key might prove difficult, since the unlock confirmation requires Amazon to verify that a package is at the right address, and no control is given to the courier during locking and unlocking.
Frankly, you’re more at risk from the pet walkers and housekeepers. Naturally, nothing is foolproof, and Amazon Key will cost you a hefty $250 for the added security it provides. In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you trust technology to block invaders from your home – that’s the big picture here.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.