Following the runaway success of Amazon’s Alexa enabled range of smart speaker devices it seems like the online shopping specialist is looking to continue its foray into home automation. To help it build on its success so far it is launching two new products that are targeted at the home security side of the market.
The two new products are a new intelligent camera called the Cloud Cam and a new smart lock control service called Key. As you’d expect both of these new devices can be controlled using Alexa and aim to help not only make your home more secure but also give you the ability to allow access to your home from anywhere on the planet when combined with a smart lock.
While Cloud Cam is focussed on offering video surveillance of your property Key is part of ambitious plans by Amazon to enable the company to deliver products directly into your home. Cloud Cam is at the heart of the new system and will use the Key service to recognise when you have a package being delivered and it will take steps to authenticate the process, unlock your door and record video. Access is gained by the delivery driver with no access codes or keys ever provided.
Amazon Prime members will be able to select in-home delivery as an option to do away with the inconvenience of having to collect their parcels from neighbours, the post office or courier depot. When a courier arrives at your home they scan the barcode which sends a request to Amazon, if everything is okay a message is sent to the Cloud Cam to start recording. The courier then receives a prompt on their app which allows them to swipe the screen to unlock your door. Once they’ve dropped off the package they relock the door by swiping their screen again and the customer receives a notification that their delivery has arrived complete with a short video of the drop-off.
The Cloud Cam controls the whole Key system and will give users access to 24 hours of clips stored in the AWS cloud and will support three cameras. There are also a number of paid tiers of service that offer longer video storage as well as supporting more cameras.
At this point in time the Amazon Key service is only available in 37 cities across the US and is only open to Amazon deliveries but the company is hoping to expand the reach of the service as well as supported couriers and delivery companies.