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ParcelHome – the smart letterbox you control with your phone

parcelhome

All this online shopping is all well and good, but it can definitely make life more of a hassle. We’re talking about arranging things so you’re there to accept the delivery, and avoiding having to reschedule deliveries because the couriers can’t get the delivery time right. Now there’s a clever new solution which uses your phone to keep control of deliveries. And returns.

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ParcelHome uses a secure lockable box attached to your premises, which can be unlocked with any phone or smartphone. The system works by using a low power locking system, so when the delivery people arrive they use an app on their phone to key in an unlock code and leave the parcel. If they have an NFC enabled handset they can just tap to unlock instead. If they don’t have a smartphone, they can ask for a code via SMS text.

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The box then alerts your phone via SMS or email that a parcel has been delivered, and when you get home you also key in an unlock code (or NFC tap) and remove your package. Simple. The boxes are free to install, but users have to pay a monthly fee for the service. You can also use the box to schedule returns of products, just put the package in the box and a ‘participating’ retailer will pick it up. We’re not told how many – if any – retailers are signed up to this deal though.

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The product comes in a variety of sizes, and models and colors. The product is currently on trial in Belgium with carriers such as DHL and TNT. One very interesting feature is the development team believes this could be a perfect match for any future drone delivery services. Are you listening Amazon?

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Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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