Amazon’s delivery prowess is impressive; just today, it announced free Prime same-day delivery for my home city of Toronto, and the speed and consistency with which they hit their deadlines is astounding. For Amazon’s next act, it might one-up itself by arranging to leave your packages inside your door, or in your garage, when you aren’t home to receive them yourself.
The news comes from a report at The Information, which highlights two companies working with retailers on technology that would allow delivery people temporary access when they’re making deliveries. The companies are August, which makes connected locks that you can control from your smartphone, and Garageio, a startup that builds connected garage door openers. Both August and Garageio have exiting relationships with Amazon, either via Alexa integration or direct investment, as The Information notes.
Both companies would offer home access directly in check-out, according to the report, meaning shoppers would be asked if they want to give delivery staff one-time access to their homes to drop off the packages in a secure location. August’s tests, which have been conducted with an unnamed retailer in Seattle (Amazon’s home turf) according to The Information, actually let the shipper leave out the external packaging that’s normally used to protect shipments from the elements. That means a wide scale launch could actually result in reduced shipping costs for retailers, which is likely to be an attractive proposition for Amazon.
There are clear limits to the potential reach of this tech, of course – smart locks and garage doors are far from ubiquitous. But pilot projects could pave the way for additional hardware and platform partners to get on board, and long-term, the trend is definitely towards seeing more homes with connected access, including those with tech built-in during new construction.
Already, Amazon has been experimenting with delivery to the trunk of a car, which indicates it’s interested in how connected access can provided safe-drop locations for shipments. Inside the front door or just inside the garage does seem like a logical next step.