Never have a delivery stolen or rained on again.
For many renters, package delivery is a constant hassle. If you’re not at home when a carrier shows up, your stuff is either left vulnerable on your doorstep or held elsewhere for pick-up—and who has time for that? If you have packages delivered to your office instead, you still have to lug the boxes home (and maybe you don’t want all your coworkers to know how often you shop at Zappos).
A startup called ParcelHome might have the solution: a “24/7 smart delivery box” that keeps your packages secure until you can reach them. It’s fully integrated with a smartphone app so you can keep track of deliveries and pick-ups in real time.
Here’s how it works: Carriers deposit a package using an access code, Bluetooth, or NFC on a smartphone. The app alerts you when you get a delivery. Once you get home, you use your app to open the box and retrieve your goods. You can also use the box for returns—just leave your packed merchandise in the box and a carrier will stop by to pick it up. The box is solar-powered and holds packages up to 53x40x33 centimeters in size. The company takes care of installation.
ParcelHome is currently pilot-testing in Belgium, with plans to expand to the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the UK by 2016. The system will require a lot of buy-in from parcel services to be successful, so it’s a good sign that the company is already working with DHL, DGD, and GLS; Gizmag reports that it is “believed to be the first time that multiple carriers have collaborated on such a scheme.”
If ParcelHome takes off, you may never have to send your packages to the office again. On the other hand, you might lose a tried-and-true excuse to “work from home.”