Two weeks ago Amazon announced both the new Cloud Cam and Amazon Key service, with November 8th set as the official release date for both. According to the calendar, that day is today. Right now you can order both the standalone Cloud Cam as well as the Cloud Cam Key Edition, an Amazon Key kit, or the separate individual Amazon Key Edition smart locks.
Amazon Cloud Cam listing (left) and Amazon Cloud Cam Key Edition listing (right)
If you're interested in the Cloud Cam, you'll need to keep in mind that there appear to be two separate models. They both work with Alexa, and they're both in-home security cameras. The Amazon Cloud Cam is a $120, but if you have any interest in Amazon Key, you'll need the Key Edition Cloud Cam, which is a bit more expensive at $140. The price difference is because the Key Edition has some extra hardware (a different power cable, apparently) to interface with the various Key-supporting smart locks, for which the camera serves as a hub. You can upgrade the standard Cloud Cam to a Key Edition later by purchasing the power cable separately, though.
On that note, Amazon also has a selection of Amazon Key Edition smart locks available for sale separately:
- Yale Assure Smart Lock Touchscreen (Amazon Key Edition) - $249.99
- Kwikset SmartCode 914 Keypad Smart Lock (Amazon Key Edition) - $199.99
- Kwikset Convert Smart Lock Conversion Kit (Amazon Key Edition) - $149.99
It appears that you'll need specific Amazon Key Editions for any smart locks you plan on using with Amazon's system. We aren't quite sure yet on the technical details, like precisely what protocol/frequencies these locks use to communicate, but we can confirm from Amazon's help documents that they require an Amazon Key Edition Cloud Cam to work so you may not be able to use them with another hub or service.
If you want to pick up the Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which conveniently includes a smart lock and Cloud Cam together, they are now in stock and shipping as well. Kits cover the range from $250-390, depending on which lock you select when you add the item to your cart.
Amazon's Cloud Cams come with a free 30 day trial for advanced features like person detection, zones, and additional storage. You do get 24 hours of recording for 3 cameras free, but if you want to keep any of the extra functionality after the 30-day trial, you'll need to cough up for one of the three tiers of subscription service:
- 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 extra cost is worth keeping in mind if you're comparison shopping home security systems. It is quite a lot cheaper than Nest's subscriptions, which run $10 a month (or $100 for a year) for one camera, and $5 a month (or $50 a year) per additional camera. 30-day video history also costs an extra $30 per month from Nest ($300 a year). So Amazon's subscription, while seemingly expensive, compares quite favorably.
Since it interfaces with Amazon's delivery service to provide you with in-home delivery—and in the future, it should also work with over 1,200 Amazon Home Services, like Merry Maids and pet sitters from Rover.com—Amazon Key is an attractive proposition if you're willing to let people into your home unattended. Thankfully, Amazon has a Key Happiness Guarantee of up to $2,500 if your product or property is damaged as a result of an in-home delivery.
If you're interested, you might want to hurry. Earlier today the Cloud Cam was temporarily listed as shipping next week, so it's possible that stock may be running low.