zBox Co., which offers a “last-mile” solution
for e-commerce delivery, said that the U.S. Postal Service and other major
shippers are participating in the alpha test of its “smart” home delivery bin
called the zBox.
The alpha test began last week in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The zBox is a solution for online consumers and the shippers and e-tailers
that serve them to the problem of how to receive (or return) packages when no
one is home.
“We’re like aspirin for e-commerce. The zBox will take the headaches out of
online shopping for consumers by ensuring that they never have to come home
to a front door full of yellow ‘Unable To Deliver’ stickies, or worry about
packages being ruined by bad weather or the neighbor’s dog,” said Tina Shah,
zBox co-founder and chief executive officer.
The zBox is a consumer-friendly secure home delivery bin that will be
available in time for the next holiday shopping season, the company says. It
is equipped with a 24-hour touch keypad and a proprietary access system that
generates a new access code for each package delivery.
Consumers only have to
remember a single personal pin code to access the zBox. Consumers can install
the zBox in a location of their choice and professional installation is also
available. The company said it plans to offer the zBox to consumers in
service plans starting at $5 per month.
The zBox will not only receive packages, but will allow consumers to return
any online purchase by leaving them in the box. Competition in this space
includes Mental Physics, which is developing
a similar service for the secure delivery and pickup of packages, even when
no one is present to receive them.