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The new Amazon Key can unlock doors to deliver Prime orders

Amazon will offer a smart-home system that allows drivers to deliver packages inside homes. Amazon Key comes a month after Walmart announced a test of in-home grocery delivery.

Amazon.com Inc. wants customers to come home to packages delivered inside their doors.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, said it will offer a service called Amazon Key, available only to Prime customers, that will allow delivery drivers to place shoppers’ Amazon orders inside their homes, even when no one is home.

In addition to being a Prime customer, a shopper who wants to use this service must own an Amazon Key In-Home Kit, a smart-home system that starts at $249.99 and comes with an Amazon Cloud Cam and one of several smart locks made by Yale and Kwikset.

Amazon Key works without keys or pass codes. Customers will receive a notification through the Amazon Key app letting them know when a driver is getting close. Delivery drivers request access to a home using an Amazon handheld scanner after knocking first, and Amazon confirms that it’s the correct delivery person, though it did not spell out how it verifies the driver’s identity. If a customer is home and does not want an in-home delivery, she can opt to block access and the driver will leave the order outside. The shopper can also opt to block access if she is not home and doesn’t want the driver entering her home. Customers can watch the delivery occur via the internet-connected camera.

“Amazon Key gives customers peace of mind knowing their orders have been safely delivered to their homes and are waiting for them when they walk through their doors,” said Amazon vice president of delivery technology Peter Larsen.

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