Back in 1995 Amazon began service as an online bookstore. Now fast forward to 2018, and this little bookstore is among the most powerful companies in the world. They have revolutionized multiple industries like the courier service, book service and even food industry (Whole Foods purchase). Amazon’s reach has made it all the way to the front door of almost every home around the world, and now they want to open your door.
Late last year Amazon announced their new product Amazon Key which will allow couriers to open your front door to drop your package off. It relies on Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock. The camera is the hub, connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi. The camera communicates to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices.
When a courier arrives with a package for in-home delivery, they scan the barcode, sending a request to Amazon’s cloud. If everything checks out, the cloud grants permission by sending a message back to the camera, which starts recording. The courier then gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen, and voilà, your door unlocks. They drop off the package, relock the door with another swipe, and are on their way. The customer will get a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off to confirm everything was done properly.
Potential Real Estate Use
Real Estate agents today rely heavily on electronic key systems to show a property (preferably when the resident is not home). The agent is able to get into the home using a standard lockbox or an electronic key system. Homeowners have to heavily trust the real estate agent to be responsible enough to show their home when no one is looking. What if Amazon Key could have the potential to do more for the homeowner? Why stop at a courier service? Homeowners could get an all-around sense of security when they are not home. This will give homeowners a sigh of relief that they now can watch a live or recorded feed on how the showing actually went.
Amazon is a big enough company to set the standard on how housing appointments should go. It doesn’t make sense to stop at a courier service. The question remains. Should we let Amazon push the boundaries like the way Uber has?