When Amazon launched it’s Key home delivery service last year, it raised some eyebrows. Eliminating the frustration of package thieves sounded great. But allowing a stranger to unlock your front door sounded like a bad idea. So Amazon is trying to find a middle ground which has led them to your garage.
Key for Garage was announced by the company at CES and is an expansion to their existing Key delivery service. It will be available to Prime members later this year and requires compatible hardware in the home. Those requirements are a myQ compatible smart garage door opener or hub. MyQ is the technology behind Chamberlain and LiftMaster smart garage door setups.
Customers will receive alerts in real-time when the garage door is being opened and when the packages have been delivered. You can sync it with an Amazon Cloud Cam to monitor the delivery driver as well. Amazon has security in place to ensure that the garage door won’t open unless the correct courier and package are there at the scheduled time.
This marks yet another expansion to the Amazon Key delivery service. It’s first iteration featured delivery inside your home with the use of their Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock on your front door. Amazon Key for Cars was later launched and allowed delivery drivers to remotely unlock the trunk of your vehicle to drop off a package. This did require cars made in 2015 and later with an active OnStar subscription. It’s clear that Amazon is concerned about package theft (and their bottom line) and finding alternative means to safely deliver goods to customers.
While this provides a safer option than a stranger having direct access to your home, there are some issues. Many homes have an entry point through their garage. Others store valuable items such as power tools inside. Using a camera for added security is a solution to this, but also requires an additional cost ($120 plus cloud fees) and will have to be placed in a part of the home that many people don’t actively monitor.
Despite its flaws, Amazon Key for Garage is an attempt to solve an annoying problem. If you order frequently and have dealt with theft, this could save you some headaches in the future. It may also lead to some added comfort in the future as Amazon has hinted that their Prime Pantry and Whole Foods orders could be left in a second refrigerator in your garage.
Key for Garage will launch in 37 cities (and their surrounding areas) in the 2nd quarter. Only deliveries made by Amazon’s own courier service (not UPS or USPS) will be eligible.