If successful, Amazon Key would completely disrupt the relationship between security and convenience for online retailers.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Amazon in 2017, it’s that they officially want to sell everything to everyone and be everywhere. If the company has their way, that “everywhere” part may soon expand to include the inside of your home while you aren’t there. Dubbed Amazon Key, the product consists of a smart lock and a cloud-connected security camera. If an Amazon courier comes by with a package while you aren’t home, they’ll unlock your front door using an app, deposit their delivery, and lock the door behind them. As an additional safeguard, they won’t be able to proceed to their next delivery until Key officially decrees that your door is locked.
While the idea of granting Amazon access to your home will surely be met with skepticism, it’s clear that the Amazon’s VP of delivery technology sees this as a long-term play to strengthen the bond between the retailer and its customers. “This is not an experiment for us,” said Peter Larsen in a statement, “this is a core part of the Amazon shopping experience from this point forward.”
For those concerned about how such a system might be hacked, some of the Cloud Cam’s security features might offer peace of mind. The device’s motion detection system leverages data stored in the Amazon Web Services Cloud to learn who (and what) should or shouldn’t be in your house, making it possible to distinguish pets, neighbors, and Amazon couriers from potential security threats.
With so many consumers willing to let the Amazon Echo into their homes already, it doesn’t seem like users will have any problem with sacrificing security for the sake of some added convenience. Though Amazon Key is only available in 37 U.S. cities so far, there’s no doubt that they hope to expand the program as part of their quest for global retail domination. Hopefully a cautious rollout will allow time to safeguard the system from those who might want to hack these Internet of Things connected devices.
Architectural Digest | October 2017