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Amazon to sell smart locks so it can slip packages into your home

Customers can create temporary passcodes for friends and other services professionals to enter as well

Reuters 

Amazon to sell smart locks so it can slip packages into your home

com Inc has plans to drop off packages directly into shoppers' homes.

The world's largest online retailer on Wednesday announced Key, a lock and camera system that users control remotely to let associates slip goods into their houses.

The move, in the works for more than a year, may help capture from who could not make it home to receive an order in person, and did not want the package stolen from their doorstep. It also signals Amazon's ambitions in the growing market for home security devices, where Alphabet Inc's Nest Labs competes.

"This is not an experiment for us," said Peter Larsen, vice president of technology, in an interview.

"This is a core part of the experience from this point forward."

Members of Amazon's Prime club can pay $249.99 and up for a cloud-controlled camera and lock that the company offers to install. associates are told to ring a doorbell or knock when they arrive at someone's house. If no one greets them, they press 'unlock' in a mobile app, and checks its systems in an instant to make sure the right associate and package are present.

The camera then streams video to the customer who remotely can watch the in-home take place. The associate cannot proceed with other trips until the home is again locked.

It is unclear if such protections will persuade customers that the service is safe to use.

Larsen said theft was "not something that happens in practice," based on early tests of the Key program.

He added that if a problem arises, "You can call customer service, file a claim and will work with you to make sure it's right," reimbursing customers in some cases.

Stores Inc, Amazon's biggest retail rival, has similar plans. It said last month it would test delivering grocery items "straight into your fridge" with August Home, a smart lock business that Assa Abloy AB said it will acquire.

Amazon's new service goes live on Nov. 8 in 37 US locations, the company said. The "Cloud Cam" is also available by itself for purchase, it said.

First Published: Wed, October 25 2017. 21:10 IST
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