Amazon has grown into a demanding corporation over the last year. It wants your local government to subsidize it with tax credits. It wants to put a camera inside your bedroom. It wanted (and acquired) Whole Foods' more than 450 stores. Now, it wants the keys to your house.
Amazon Key is a new service unveiled Wednesday that allows Amazon couriers to open your door and leave packages inside, ostensibly so they don't get stolen from your front porch. The move is Amazon's latest attempt to fully optimize its Prime subscription service, which offers free two-day shipping in the United States as well as other perks. I imagine one day an Amazon delivery robot will drop off your Prime package or Whole Foods order directly to your bed, no need to get up.
Amazon Key relies on Amazon's new Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock. It's not the first company to develop a smart lock that can be unlocked remotely. When a courier arrives at a house with a package, they scan its barcode, which sends a request to Amazon. If the package is approved, the Cloud Cam begins recording, and your door unlocks. The package is dropped off, the courier leaves, and the door is relocked behind them. The customer then gets a notification that they received a delivery, along with a video of the courier dropping it off. What could go wrong?
At this point we still don't have details about Amazon Key's security features, but smart locks have been hacked before. Last year, two security researchers demonstrated how easy it is to hack into the devices. At the annual DEF CON hacking conference, they tested 16 different Bluetooth-enabled locks, and found that 75 percent were vulnerable.
Amazon Key as well as the Cloud Cam are the latest in a series of home devices developed by Amazon in recent years. The corporation is competing with the likes of Google and Apple to optimize your entire life. The two new devices unveiled today join Amazon's growing list of offerings, including a line of Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers, and a smart camera device called the Echo Look. The Cloud Cam will be able to integrate with other Amazon smart devices, according to the company.