News by Sam R
Amazon Announced its new Cloud based Video Camera (Amazon Cam) and Key System today (Amazon Key). They are trying to become the security hub for your home and these devices work with Alexa Echo. Please note if you have an Echo Plus then you don’t need a zigbee hub to make this system work, if you don’t have the Echo Plus, I believe you will need to buy a hub for your system. One hub I recommend is Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub .

If you don’t have Alexa Echo in your home see my write up on what you need and why by clicking here I WANT AMAZON ALEXA AS MY SMART HOME SYSTEM

The Video Camera easily integrates into your Alexa System and it performs all the normal Security Camera functions with two-way audio communication, apps that allow you to see into your home when you are away and recording functions. Some of the specs on the camera are:

  • 24/7 monitoring – Stay connected to your home, family, and pets. Catch activities as they happen in 1080p Full HD and watch the last 24 hours of clips for free.
  • Notifications – Get notified when Cloud Cam sees activity and use the Cloud Cam App to check in anytime with live view.
  • See clearly in the dark – Night vision lets you detect what’s happening around the clock.
  • Two-way audio – Check in with the family or tell your dog to stop barking.

You can buy the camera as a unit, as a pair of cameras or in a kit of 3. The kit of 2 or 3 is cheaper. If you are interested in a lock for your door, you can get a kit with a camera and a lock (see below for more details on this).

“Cloud Cam has all the features you need to monitor your home, including a 1080p Full HD camera, night vision, two-way audio, and free storage for clips–and with the secure AWS cloud powering Cloud Cam’s advanced computer algorithms and intelligent alerts, the service is always getting smarter,” said Charlie Tritschler, Vice President, Amazon Devices, in a statement.”

They have a cloud cam service that you pay for to do more advanced features. When you buy the camera you get a 30 day free subscription to the service. There are three levels of service available at different costs:

  • Basic ($6.99/mo, $69/yr) offers access to the last 7 days of motion detection clips for up to 3 cameras
  • Extended ($9.99/mo, $99/yr) offers access to the last 14 days of motion detection clips for up to 5 cameras
  • Pro ($19.99/mo, $199/yr) offers access to the last 30 days of motion detection clips for up to 10 cameras


The Key Service is more interesting and controversial. First off, you have to have a new key system installed in your door and connected to Alexa. Three key sets are currently available. The locks are from Yale or Kwikset. You can buy a kit from Amazon that includes the camera and the lock. The kit cost is $249.99 for Prime Members. The key locks themselves are $249.99 so the kit is a good idea.

Works with Alexa

  YALE ASSURE SMART LOCK

Works with Alexa

Kwikset Convert Smart Lock

Works with Alexa

 Kwikset SmartCode 914

Beside the physical lock, the Key system allows your amazon deliveries to be placed inside your home without anyone being home. This is a bit scary and I am not sure how comfortable I am about strangers coming into my home when I am not there, but basically what happens is the when the driver gets near your home you are notified on the app. The driver then verifies the address when they are at the property and when they do; the door is unlocked through the cloud. The Camera turns on and records the front door. The driver places the package inside the door and closes it, when they do it locks.

“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 Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, Amazon, in a statement “Now, Prime members can select in-home delivery and conveniently see their packages being delivered right from their mobile phones.”

If something goes wrong your delivery is always backed up by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee. I think you can use your imagination of what can go wrong.

Amazon Key will be available on November 8 in 37 cities and surrounding areas across the U.S., with more locations rolling out over time.

On Amazon’s website you can see a good video explaining what this system does and I encourage you to view it AMAZON VIDEO explaining the system. (scroll down on the page that opens). Here is a quick video from C|net news.

With this new Key service, Amazon is treading again in the sensitive area of privacy. With any Voiced based cloud system you are allowing the services you sign up for to see inside your home and your life. The Camera and Alexa have two way audio systems which means mics listening to your living space. With Amazon Look and Key services, Amazon sees what you wear, what is delivered to your home and when you are home or not. It is an area of great discussion right now and I would love to hear your comments on this below. This is a personal choice but I believe that the benefits outweigh the concerns.

This is a new wrinkle and clearly shows that Amazon is looking to be integrated into your life every day and really become the “EVERYTHING STORE” with their recent purchase of Whole Foods and their Amazon shopping capabilities, Amazon may do what Walmart is trying to do, be the store you choose everyday. They are also doing it so you can shop without taking up all your free time.If this seems to fit your life and is what you want then Amazon Alexa is the way to go. Google Assistant and Walmart are teaming up to try and compete with Amazon. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. Amazon is creating a strong infrastructure that is going to be difficult to compete against.

This shows the strength that choosing an Amazon Alexa System as the brain of your Smart Home System allows you have the best smart home system. I recommend looking into this and getting your system defined and in place. Growing with this technology will be fun and exciting. JOIN the fun today.

 

2 Comments

  1. Dave

    Reply

    Thank you for the very current information on Amazon new cloud cam and key service.

    Someone at my work just told me about this. So I wanted to look into what it was all about.

    I live in a really rural area so our packages are always there waiting for us when we get home but if it is raining…its not a good deal.

    My front door is about 75 feet away from our garage and drive and my front porch is covered. I think it’s a bit of laziness by the delivery people to quickly leave our packages then they take off.

    An added bonus with this system is the packages should now be properly delivered or someone is going to get a not to happy phone call. Kind of a reminder for the delivery people not to be lazy and/or so fast to leave.

    Thanks again for the info. We will be sure to look into this some more.

    • Reply

      Dave,
      I think that in your case being rural, having this service would force the delivery person to put the products in the house and out of the weather. Which is a great advantage. In addition if you had people that you needed to let in the home for services it would help too. One other item you might consider is a video door bell I will be reviewing this very soon however if you want to get one soon here is a good one that would work with Alexa too. Ring is a quality product and should do a great job for you.

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