Conclusion: A secure box that could put an end to missed deliveries
We are a nation of consumers and the pandemic has led to an increase in internet shopping. Couriers are busier than ever and door-to-door deliveries are now part of the daily routine.
But what happens when you’re not in it? What happens when the courier arrives and there is no answer at the door? Yale security experts have come up with a fascinating new device that can essentially accept deliveries on your behalf. Kind of.
it’s called Smart delivery box and it’s essentially a harmless gray “safe” that sits in your driveway or porch, and acts as a secure container for any packages you’ve missed.
By locking one of Yale’s excellent keyless digital locks, a delivery driver can receive a code for that lock before they arrive and plug your box inside, automatically locking the door behind them when it closes.
So he claims to put an end to the problem of coming home to find a soggy box on the doorstep, or, worse yet, not finding the box at all because it was pinched.
And while that’s a brilliant idea, and though it’s executed beautifully with famous Yale build quality, there are a few flaws.
I used mine over the holiday season so I was very busy with Christmas shopping deliveries and tried my best to get couriers to use it but only a few really understood this that I asked them to do.
Amazon’s drivers, for example, have been hit and miss. Most of them ignored the message I left in line giving them the passcode and just dropped the box and set it up. I know because I have CCTV.
However, a few Amazon drivers have used the box. Well, we tried and failed because the package was too big, but I’ll take that as half a win.
A DPD driver fumbled with it for a few moments, but quickly got bored and dropped the dreaded card by my door, only to come back another day.
And then there was the Amazon driver who had never seen one before, and asked me all kinds of questions about it as I signed for my package. He never came back, but I’m waiting.
The lovely guy from Parcelforce who regularly delivers items for my wife’s business also got a crash course when I saw him one morning, and he likes it so much that he’s even considering buying one himself. now.
And then there was the time when I had to retrieve a car that I had tested on the road and the driver got stuck on the M1 so, as I was leaving the house for a night out, I put the keys in the box, texted her the code, and I didn’t have to cancel my Friday night pint.
With the exception of busy couriers who just can’t bother to use it, I think the main problem with the Smart Delivery Box is simply the fact that it’s not yet ubiquitous. Devices like this should be at every door, and maybe one day they will.
But it still seems like a bit of a foreign concept for some drivers, and that will hopefully change.
Oh, and it’s not cheap, at £ 300. But you can tell right away that it’s built to last, so think of it as an investment, maybe.
There’s a lot to like about it, however. I love the variety of ways I can access it. I can use a card, a chip or even, if I buy the module, my smartphone and my connected speakers.
With this £ 50 smart add-on, I can use my home WiFi to send notifications to it when it’s accessed, and update it over-the-air to give people temporary access if I suddenly find out they’re are on their way.
You can even, if you wish, hide a house key there somewhere and give your family or neighbor an access code to allow them to call and water the plants while on vacation.
So it is such a useful addition to any household. It anchors securely to the floor or wall, it is completely waterproof and its batteries last for months.
While we all promise each other that we will do more to support local businesses, online shopping is here to stay. And home deliveries will always be part of our daily lives.
The advantages of this Smart Delivery Box are therefore obvious. I just wish more couriers would continue.