On Wednesday, Amazon announced the launch of yet another Alexa-enabled gadget, the Cloud Cam. It's a smart security camera that does all the usual stuff security cameras do, like monitor your pets, kids or your door while you're away. But it also integrates with Alexa devices and has a couple of special features not typically seen on security cameras, even "smart" ones. SEE ALSO: Not everyone's desperate for Amazon's second headquarters The most interesting thing about the Cloud Cam is its integration with a new Amazon service called Amazon Key. It lets you automate the process of package deliveries; you can receive packages while you're not at home, and you can also track deliveries and get notifications.
The Amazon Cloud Cam ($120) is ostensibly a sentry for users of Amazon Key, the company's home delivery service that allows couriers to drop off packages right inside your house. It works with compatible smart locks to allow delivery people--and, really, anyone else you designate--to enter your premises when you're not home. It's also sold as a standalone home security camera, and it's a darn good one, with advanced security features and full Alexa integration.
When Amazon launched its Amazon Key service last month, it also offered a remedy for anyone--realistically, most people--who might be creeped out that the service gives random strangers unfettered access to your home. An internet-enabled camera called Cloud Cam, designed to sit opposite your door and reassuringly record every Amazon Key delivery.
The Amazon Cloud Cam ($120) is ostensibly a sentry for users of Amazon Key, the company's home delivery service that allows couriers to drop off packages right inside your house. It's also sold as a standalone home security camera, and it's a darn good one, with advanced security features and full Alexa integration. Design-wise the Cloud Cam looks like a kissin' cousin of the Nest Cam IQ, right down to the white finish.
Rushing home to sign for a package can be a chore, and nothing craters a day like having a delivery stolen from your doorstep. The question Amazon asks with its new Key app and Cloud security camera: Are those annoyances enough to let a delivery person into your home, unattended, to drop off a box? The answer should present itself soon enough, at least in the 37 cities in which Amazon will launch its new in-home delivery service as of November 8. There, customers who purchase an Amazon Cloud Cam, own a compatible smart lock, and download the accompanying Amazon Key app can grant access for in-home deliveries--and watch the drop-offs live, remotely. And while Amazon has gone to some lengths to minimize the creepiness of a definitionally invasive service, it still forces potential enlistees to consider just what kind of trade-offs they're willing to make in the name of convenience. Amazon says that in-home delivery will be available for "tens of millions" of items, whether it's sent same-day, standard, or any shipping method in between.