The smart mailbox was unveiled last fall but this Monday it reached the biggest milestone in its development process so far, accepting for the first time U.S. mail in Lawrence, Indiana. In addition to demonstrating how mail can be delivered traditionally to the mailbox of the future, Dronedek also had a MacDonald’s Big Mac with fries delivered to one via drone.
Both deliveries were part of a pilot project that involves four Dronedek mailboxes installed throughout the city, which are powered by Oracle. Dan O’Toole, Dronedek founder and CEO, proudly stated that the pilot is meant to showcase how the mailbox is ready for both traditional and autonomous package delivery and show what it can do in the near future when federal regulations are relaxed to enable autonomous delivery.
What made it possible to have fries delivered to the mailbox of the future was the fact that Dronedek’s receptacle comes with some state-of-the-art tech features. It is climate-controlled, packed with sensors, has a motorized sliding door, GPS, Bluetooth, a two-way speaker system for real-time communication, and is secured by a fully encrypted, end-to-end opening protocol. What that means is that the door won’t open unless you have the right security code.
Packages that reach the smart mailbox are verified via QR and a barcode scanner and they are also disinfected using UVs once they get inside.
Dronedek hasn’t mentioned yet when its mailboxes of the future will hit the market, but if the pilot proves successful we might soon start to see these pop up everywhere in our neighborhoods.