Amazon may have expanded into digital media and web services, but e-commerce will likely remain the true core of its business. As such, the outfit continues on expanding the logistics operation that keeps its core business running smooth. They’ve already made strides in smoothing out the reordering process for its customers and have unveiled plenty of solutions when it comes to package delivery. Here’s another one of the latter that’s specifically aimed at residential buildings: the Amazon Hub.
No, it’s not another groundbreaking idea. Instead, it’s actually just a modernized version of the good, old building locker. You know, the thing where residents can receive letters and packages even when they’re not home, then retrieve them at the most convenient time. Except, instead of residents having a key to each of their lockers, it comes with a touchscreen panel where you can type in a passcode if you need to get access to your packages.
The Amazon Hub is, basically, a large locker that property owners can install in a communal section of their buildings. Unlike Amazon Lockers, the company’s existing locker facility for public locations, the Hub isn’t strictly for Amazon packages. Instead, it’s designed as a receiving facility for any package and parcel that arrives for a resident, so it should work more like a standard locker, albeit with a digital security instead of the old-school lock-and-key.
We’re not entirely sure whether each compartment is designed to be assigned to a single apartment or whether the system will assign random lockers to every package that arrives. From what we can tell, we’re leaning with the latter, since Amazon makes a point of how the system can free up landlords and their staff from daily package management. There are also no labels on the lockers in the product photos, so we’re guessing there’s a lot of automation going on behind the scenes. If that’s the case, then we’re guessing a resident will get some sort of notification, along with a passcode, any time they get a package, which they can then enter into the system to gain access to whichever compartment is holding it.
The starter Amazon Hub model measures six feet wide and comes with 42 separate compartments, with an expansion module that can add another 23 to the mix. Of course, they have larger models available, too, along with outdoor lockers that are reinforced to handle the sun, rain, and snow while still keeping your packages safe. They come in four neutral colors that should blend seamlessly with any property.
No pricing is listed on Amazon’s product page for the Hub, although property owners are encouraged to get in touch and inquire. It’s entirely possible Amazon charges a one-time purchase fee, along with monthly fees for this thing, since it doesn’t appear to be a standalone system (we’re guessing it’s connected to Amazon’s servers the whole time) and will require technical support. Knowing Amazon and their penchant for lowering the barrier to entry, there are likely also options for rentals.