If customers didn’t like the idea of letting Amazon delivery drivers inside their homes to deliver a package, perhaps they’ll feel more comfortable about the garage.
That’s the bet Amazon is making with a new feature as part of its Key by Amazon package delivery service.
Amazon launched the service last year with a goal of making it easier for customers to get packages delivered and also address the ongoing challenge of package theft. It was met with some controversy and unease from customers who balked at letting strangers into their homes automatically.
In response, Amazon partnered with Chamberlain Group, which operates Chamberlain and LiftMaster garage door opener brands, to launch Key for Garage, giving delivery partners a way enter garages. The feature works in tandem with Amazon Cloud Cam, the company’s home security camera that launched last year and lets customers monitor their garage door via the Key app, but is not required for Key for Garage.
Here’s how the companies describe the process:
Prime members who live in one of 37 cities and surrounding areas will be able to choose “In-garage delivery” at checkout when they shop on Amazon.com. On delivery day, customers receive notifications via the Key app during every step of the delivery process, from when the package is en-route, to the when garage door opens for the driver to deliver the package and then securely closes. Customers with a Cloud Cam can also choose to watch their delivery occur in real-time. Before the garage door opens, Amazon verifies that the correct driver is at the right address through an encrypted authentication process. Once this process is successfully completed, the door opens, and the driver will not move on to their next delivery until the garage door closes.
Key for Garage will roll out in Q2 of this year. Customers will need to purchase a Chamberlain or LiftMaster myQ garage door opener ($180) or affix their existing door opener with a $80 hub.
As The Verge notes, Key for Garage could set up some possible scenarios for Whole Foods grocery delivery, which Amazon is quickly expanding across the country — imagine having a second fridge in the garage for perishable foods, for example.
Amazon today also rolled out the first WiFi-enabled smart lock for Key; new Key for Business technology for building owners and managers; as well as the ability to lock and unlock Key-compatible smart locks via the Ring app. Amazon acquired Ring last year for a reported $1 billion. Ring unveiled 13 new and refreshed products today at CES.
Last year Amazon debuted Amazon Key In-Car — now called Key for Car — which turned personal vehicles into a package delivery locker of sorts.