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Won’t be around to accept a package? If the order’s from Amazon, you needn’t worry. Months after it began making deliveries to the trunks of select GM and Cadillac vehicles in 37 cities via Key In-Car, the Seattle company is introducing new ways for mail carriers to leave packages at homes and apartments securely.
During the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, Amazon announced an expansion of Key by Amazon — its keyless parcel delivery service for Prime members — to third-party smart home products. Schlage’s new Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt is the first Wi-Fi-enabled smart lock that works with Key, and Chamberlain’s MyQ lineup of connected garage door openers are the first to support Key for Garage, a new delivery option.
Amazon also announced Key for Business, a smart fob for drivers delivering packages to commercial and residential properties, and Ring app compatibility with Key.
“For the past year, we’ve been thrilled to see how customers have benefited from Key by Amazon,” Rohit Shrivastava, general manager of Key by Amazon, said in a statement. “We started with the idea of in-home package delivery and quickly learned that our customers found peace of mind and delight from the control Key gives them over their most important place — their homes — even when they weren’t there themselves.”
The Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt, which doesn’t require a hub or gateway, is as full-fledged as any other smart lock on the market. From the Key app, you’ll be able to manage access for renters, for example, or let pet sitters in while you’re at work.
Schlage parent company Allegion says the Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt will be available this week. Pricing has yet to be announced.
“Even with all the advancements in the category, we recognized there was still a gap in simple, secure, high performance and cost-effective, all-in-one access solutions,” Lee Odess, vice president of Alegion’s solutions providers business, said. “Schlage Encode was designed to provide homeowners with one trusted device — no gateway or hub needed –that could make keyless entry simpler and more convenient than ever before.”
Key for Garage affords comparable control over your house’s garage doors — as long as you have a compatible garage door opener, that is. With any MyQ Chamberlain door opener, you can open and close the doors via the Key app, or monitor their statuses to ensure they close after a package delivery’s been made.
“A self-contained extension of the home, the garage offers a convenient destination for delivery hurdles such as potential theft and missed deliveries,” Jeff Meredith, president and CEO of Chamberlain, said. “We are proud to collaborate with Amazon on this game-changing in-garage delivery initiative.”
Ring customers, too, will be able to control Key-compatible smart locks — including models from Yale, Kwikset, and Schlage — at home or on the go. Within the Ring app, a new shortcut in the video feed screen will allow Ring Video Doorbell owners to lock or unlock connected deadbolts on command.
Amazon expects the integration to roll out in Q1.
“Giving customers the ability to lock and unlock their Key-compatible locks directly from the Ring app is a no-brainer,” Jamie Siminoff, chief inventor and founder of Ring, said. “Ring’s customers already regularly use two way talk on Ring devices to scare off would-be thieves or other bad actors. With the integration of Key, they’ll also be able to use the Ring app to open the door to neighbors, family, and service providers they do want coming and going, no matter where they are.”
The Schlage, Chamberlain, and Ring integrations are more or less aimed at residential customers. On the commercial side of the equation, there’s Key for Business, a fob for delivery drivers that enables keyless entry to offices and corporate properties. With Key for Business, building managers and landlords can give controlled access to drivers and monitor entries, or impose limits on delivery hours. It works with most building access systems, Amazon says, and is already available to “hundreds” of buildings across the U.S., including apartments owned by WinnCompanies, Avalon, and Kettler.
Key for Business builds on Hub, a delivery solution Amazon launched in June 2018 with properties owned by AvalonBay, Fairfield Residential, Pinnacle, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Winn Residential, and Equity Residential. At the time, Amazon said that more than 500,000 customers in New York, San Francisco, and across the country had access to Hub, which recruits on-site property staff to sign for shipments from Amazon and other shops and websites.
Packages delivered via Hub are placed in a designated touchscreen lockbox that opens with a passcode. It’s unclear whether the same is true of Key deliveries — we’ve reached out to Amazon for clarification.
“Key puts security, convenience, and control in the hands of our customers and we are excited to expand Key and open up more possibilities for them,” Shrivastava said.
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