Amazon builds out their smart home ecosystem with Cloud Cam and Amazon Key

Amazon has taken the wraps off of two new pieces of their smart home ecosystem, putting it in even closer competition with tons of other gadget-makers. The Cloud Cam is a security camera that takes aim at Nest, and Amazon Key is a service that allows delivery drivers to leave packages in your house. Of course they both work hand-in-hand with Echo devices, too.

So let’s talk about the Amazon Cloud Cam. It’s priced at $119 and records full HD video, which already undercuts even less powerful competitors. Amazon’s site listing for the camera compares it to the reasonably priced Arlo camera (currently $150) which only does 720p recording, and the bigger Nest Cam Indoor that does 1080p recording for $199, significantly more than the Cloud Cam.

Amazon’s pricing for the Cloud Cam beats Nest, too. While Nest Aware costs either $9.99 per month or $29.99 per month, depending on how much cloud storage you want, Amazon’s plans start at $6.99 and top out at $19.99.

Needless to say, this will very likely prompt some restructuring of price points in the WiFi camera market.

Alongside the camera, Amazon announced Amazon Key that’s set to be available in November. It’s not a new piece of hardware, per se, but you will need the Cloud Cam and a compatible smart lock to use it. Basically, the service allows a delivery courier to use an app that talks to your smart lock to drop your package off inside your front door.

They scan their app’s barcode on the smart lock, which then checks in with Amazon to see if it’s an authorized delivery. If it is, the door unlocks, the courier drops the package, then they relock the door and go on to their next delivery. The Cloud Cam records the whole process.

The idea seems weird, and I’m not sure I’d be 100% comfortable with it, especially with pets in my house. But hey, if you really want to automate things, it’s some pretty cool technology.

At launch, it will only work with Amazon’s own delivery team. That also means it’ll be pretty limited as far as available cities, but if it does well and there aren’t any major issues that make it to the nightly news, it will likely roll out to other cities and services over the next few years.

Both the Cloud Cam and Amazon Key will be available starting November 8th, and Amazon is planning on selling bundle packages to save customers money. You can get a smart lock, the Cloud Cam, and free installation for $249.99, for example. And even if you don’t plan on ever taking advantage of Amazon Key, the smart lock will still work for controlling the lock on your front door.

source: Amazon
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About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.