Yale’s smart delivery box, first announced at CES earlier this year, is now available for purchase. The box, which is designed to sit on your porch, is available in two different designs as a safe place to package until you retrieve them, priced at $ 229.99. Ranges from $ 329.99, depending on whether you want Yale’s smart keypad.
The idea behind the box is to prevent theft – the dreaded porch pirate – or to prevent damage to your deliveries from rain, snow, or other inclement weather. Yale is also offering an insert to help keep the perishable in the box cool.
I have been testing the smart delivery box on my own porch for the last five days and while I appreciate what it is trying to do, I do not think it is currently worth the price of admission.
The box itself is a plastic container made by Step 2, better known for slides and playground equipment. It is approximately 24 inches wide by 14 inches deep by 20 inches tall (approximately 61cm x 36cm x 51cm), with a hinged lid and the word “DELIVERIES” on the front. Yale says that this package is designed to fit “most packages” based on the data of the giver, but if you have something really big or odd, it won’t fit in the box.
What makes it “smart” is the smart cabinet lock that comes with it: you snap the lock into place and then use the Yale Access app on your phone to name and control it. It works like one of Yale’s smart locks (or August’s, as they use the same platform).
Once you set the lock with your phone (and set the included connect bridge that plugs into an outlet inside your home), you can lock or unlock it with an app, a voice assistant Can, or can. It locks automatically whenever you close the lid. If you opt for the keypad, you can set a PIN code to unlock the box without using your phone.
You can get information when someone puts something in the box, based on which the lock is attached. This is a secondary warning for you already on Amazon, UPS, FedEx, or from where you ordered an item, but it’s good.
As it looks, the design of the Brighton model I’m testing is fine – it actually looks like one of those plastic outdoor storage bins you can put in a hose or children’s toy. It did not cheapen the front. My house, although it takes up a considerable amount of room on my small front porch.
The box does not weigh much on its own, so I put some bricks that I had lying around in my garage under a false floor at the bottom of the box. Yale says you can use the sandbag or drill some holes behind it to knock it down. The lock itself is designed to withstand 100 pounds of pulling force. If someone really wants to break, they can, but it is not going to happen without some time and effort (and maybe some equipment).
It has some safety features built in, such as venting for air (the box does not have watertight, resulting in flooding that will soak your packages), an inside button to release the latch if the child is trapped inside, and while you are loading When you are unloading the box, do not accidentally close and close it with a second latch lid on the outside.
Yale says that the battery life is about six months and has an optional setting that the battery must be nearly dead for the auto to unlock. The app will also alert you when the battery is low.
All that stuff – box, smart lock, app – works fine and is not really a problem with smart delivery boxes. The problem is actually happening to anyone to use it.
See, right now, Yale has no partnership with major package delivery services – FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, etc. – which will ensure that a delivery person knows what the box is, how to use it, and Really puts a package inside it. These partnerships will also mean that the delivery person has the ability to unlock and lock the box with already existing hardware or devices.
So you either have to hope that a delivery person sees the (rather obvious) box, knows how to use it, and then actually uses it before closing until your next delivery to make it worthwhile. Take time to
In the five days I have had a smart delivery box on my porch, I have received no less than six different deliveries. Of those six, five ignored the box and one FedEx delivery person used it. But since he didn’t close the lid all the way through (you have to intentionally get down on top of it to defeat the secondary safety latch), the box didn’t really have a lock and I didn’t find anything like that. Put it there. Some of the delivery guys actually let the package lean against the box, which was a particularly entertaining thing to watch.
There is no way to unlock the box to handle the problem of delivery people, the Yale app has a built in “delivery mode” which will leave the box unlocked until the next time it opens and closes, when it Will lock himself up then. To enable delivery mode, you need to be in the Bluetooth range of the box (think less than 10 feet), wait for the application to recognize the lock and connect and then go three screens deep into the app to turn it on. If a package arrives and you do not unlock it remotely, the box will be locked for the next delivery person. This is not a very elegant solution.
An alternative to the delivery mode is to create a special PIN code for the keypad that you add to the delivery instructions for your home, although this is only possible for some carriers and often requires an account with them.
Yale is aware of the education challenge and tells me that it is in discussion with the carrier on integration that will solve a lot of these headaches. A major announcement on that front is planned by the end of this year. It is also providing a signal to those who ask the delivery people at their doorstep to buy a delivery box, to use it, but it is not at all beautiful. (There is also no guarantee that people will see or even accept the sign – I think it is very difficult for me to ring my doorbell to get some package carriers.)
Until Yale resolves all those obstacles, it is difficult to recommend a smart delivery box. It is entirely possible that it sits on my porch, more likely that people will get used to it and realize what it is for, but it is entirely possible that they will continue to ignore it as if in them Many have already done. So for now, Yale’s new product is a fancy connected box looking for a problem to solve.
If you’re interested in the smart cabinet lock that’s inside the smart delivery box, Yale is selling those for $ 79.99 in Bluetooth with Wi-Fi connectivity for only $ 129.99. They can be installed in any cabinet to secure items such as alcohol or toxic cleaning products, but they are not designed to secure a gun cabinet lock or heavy duty.
Photography by Dan Seifert / The Verge