Amazon to develop a smart doorbell to deliver packages inside your home

Will "porch pirates" one day be a thing of the past?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Amazon is seeking ways to make sure your package is delivered on time, every time, by giving delivery drivers access to your car or home, reports claim.

Missing deliveries, forged signatures, items dropped off to the wrong property and perhaps worst of all -- members of the general public who pinch items left on doorsteps in opportunistic theft -- Amazon, as any other online retailer, faces compensation and replacement claims every day due to these issues.

After all, it was only last month that a couple were charged with defrauding the retail giant out of $1.2 million in electronics through the home delivery system.

Not only do missing deliveries cause inconvenience for consumers, but the bill for retailers can be high. Therefore, Amazon is looking at technological methods to reduce the problem.

As first reported by CNBC, unnamed sources say that Amazon is in talks with Phrame, a smart license plate maker which develops technologies that secure your car keys under the plate, but also transforms your trunk into a locker for "secure, unattended deliveries."

Owners of these license plates can connect their car up with an accompanying app to receive alerts when someone has impacted their vehicle, there is the possibility of broken windows, or they want to remotely lock or unlock their car.

The concept that Amazon may be interested in is the option of receiving valet "requests" to unlock a trunk through the app.

If Amazon took advantage of this technology, then it could be possible for a remote system to be added to delivery notifications, and delivery staff may be able to request one-time access to vehicles to securely drop off a package, no matter whether the recipient is present or not.

However, these talks are only one facet of Amazon's plans.

According to the publication, the company is also developing a "smart doorbell device" which would give delivery drivers access to your home.

There are already smart security-based doorbells on the market, such as Ring and SkyBell, which use sensors, video cameras, and microphones to alert owners when people are at their door, allow them to record suspicious footage, or talk to visitors remotely.

There are also smart door locks available, including products developed by August and Nuki, and so Amazon's idea of a doorbell which grants access remotely is only one step further.

Whether or not consumers would like the idea of a stranger setting foot in their home when they are away is another matter, but for those with a porchway, for example, or a weatherproof shed, this idea may hold merit -- especially for frequent buyers away during the day.

However, Amazon is not the first to consider this idea. Walmart and August recently announced a new partnership which aims to deliver customer packages inside -- and groceries directly into your fridge.

Together with Amazon Prime delivery, the new AMZL photo on delivery -- which provides customers with a photo of their delivered package on delivery -- and Amazon Air drones, the company seems serious about ironing out the issues with delivery. If consumers warm to the idea of smart locks, this will not only potentially reduce the firm's compensation bill but ensure that deliveries are made more often on time.

ZDNet has reached out to Amazon and Phrame and will update if we hear back.

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