Amazon and Walmart have offered a few solutions for online shoppers to help thwart porch and mailbox robbers, but has Alibaba come up with the future solution?
In the world of smart home technology, the home can be both the hero and villain. All the gadgets that we outfit our homes with help make our lives easier, and also give us options that we never had before, like digital keys and remote access to live video security feeds. Hero!
There are also new services that give many pause. One of those services is the home delivery offered by big brands like Amazon and Walmart because it has a twist: giving delivery drivers access to your home or car. This access is granted electronically, and is meant to be one-time – but that doesn’t sit well with many. Villain!
Alibaba might just have the concept smart home product that we deserve. They want us all to experience package delivery without having to give strangers access to our homes.
The concept – which has no release date – is basically a temperature-controlled smart box that is installed on the outside of the home. It’s basically a locker on the outside of your home. The concept has the box using facial recognition for access, and an option to expand the depth per the size of the package. The temperature control is great, because it opens this concept product to things like food delivery, which is very trendy right now. Grocery delivery is a big offering from Amazon and Walmart, and with smart technology they can access the home to put your items in your fridge. With a temperature controlled box, you wouldn’t need your food to be delivered inside your own to avoid spoiling.
While this is certainly a fun concept, there are also some pretty big concerns:
Pros of the Smart Locker Concept
- A major concern for granting delivery drivers access to your home is dealing with pets. Those with pets are forced to lock them into certain areas of the house if they are expecting a delivery and for many, this is a deal breaker. With a smart locker, you get all the perks of secure deliveries without the hassles of home access.
- I don’t know about all of you, but home is often far from visitor-ready. I would not want a delivery driver coming into my home when it isn’t clean. With a locker outside of my home, I could avoid all that embarrassment.
- I would absolutely use this thing to have pizza delivered before I got home so that I could just dig in. No more having to selected a delivery time – the locker can keep the pizza (or whatever food you prefer) warm!
- If you go on an online shopping cleanse, you could just use that locker to securely store personal items.
Cons of the Smart Locker Concept
- The concept smart locker is not pretty – and can take up a big chunk of the wall outside your home. If you’re all about that curb appeal or have limited space, this won’t be the product for you.
- I’m not sure how this would work if you ordered a regular package and food for delivery on the same day. You certainly can’t turn on the heating or cooling feature if non-food items are also inside.
- This is not a solution for all packages, as some will still be too big for the locker. That means you’d either have to chance it with exposed deliveries, or you’d still have to allow access to your home.
- The concept called for facial recognition which is still a very new and very flawed system.