Amazon Still Wants to Open Your Front Door

John Lister's picture

Amazon has bought a company that makes video doorbells. The purchase of "Ring" is likely to boost a service where Amazon couriers are able to get into customer homes to drop off parcels safely.

The Amazon Key service was developed as a way to get round the twin problems of it being inconvenient to have to wait in for deliveries, but insecure to have couriers leave parcels on doorsteps.

It works with 'smart' electronic door locks where householders can unlock their door with their smartphone, either by tapping the screen or simply having their phone in their pocket as they approach the door. Many such locks also allow users to give other people one-off or ongoing access to their homes through an app, for example letting a dog walker or cleaner get in without having to be given a physical key.

Courier Visits Captured On Video

Amazon Key hooks up with such systems to let couriers get inside the front door. It's designed to work with video-equipped systems to record the entry (and exit), giving the customer reassurance nothing inappropriate has happened.

By buying Ring, Amazon will likely be able to take advantage of its technology that integrates video doorbells, smart locks and security cameras. Ring currently allows users to 'answer' the doorbell through a video link on their phone or tablet, despite not being at home.

Fresh Food Deliveries Get Boost

If integrated into Amazon Key, Ring's systems could mean customers don't have to give Amazon and its couriers blanket access to their home.

Instead, they could see and hear the courier on the doorstep, let them in if they feel confident all is above board, and monitor the delivery (and exit) in real time, even confirming the door is locked behind them. It could also make it easier for Amazon to get into the food delivery business if couriers can put fresh items into a fridge. (Source:

It's not the first such purchase Amazon has made. Last year it bought Blink, which makes home security cameras with a particular emphasis on energy efficiency. They can run on ordinary household batteries, making them much easier to install around a home without excessive wiring. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Would you be comfortable with having 'smart locks' on your doors? Would the convenience of being able to have parcels put inside your house outweigh any concerns you have over couriers gaining entry? Do you trust Amazon to maintain security and vet couriers adequately for such deliveries?

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Average: 4.8 (4 votes)


bcfl's picture

While the thought may seem like a good idea to some, I would NEVER give a delivery person that I do not know access to my home, whats to say that that person doesn't have a side job of casing individuals homes for robbery/contents information. Perhaps a secure area on Post Office property that is monitored with cameras and bar-codes that the customer can access 7/24??

inadee's picture

Great innovative idea, gets my vote. In my case I have a vestibule with an outer and inner lockable door and would be happy to allow access through the outer door. I also have discreet cameras with motion sensing installed. Just need a cost effective lock?

omeomi.janice_6982's picture

My son installed Ring about a week ago and then learned that Amazon had bought them. Disappointing. However, I would never give anyone access to my home if someone is not home. This is just asking for trouble, I think.

I agree with bcfl.

guitardogg's picture

I really don't want strangers coming in my door. Watching them on video isn't good enough. I guess I'm lucky. I have no problem with packages sitting by the door until I get home. I would be worried about them casing the joint so to speak. A few details about your home could give a burglar an advantage. I installed a Ring a while back. It works okay, but takes too long to show the video once the doorbell is rung. I'm sure increasing my internet speed would help, but my options are limited where I live.