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Bpost experiments with smart door locks to enter homes
If you've had enough of missing parcel deliveries because you're not at home at the right time, a new experiment by the Belgian post office could bring good news.
Bpost and online fashion retailer Zalando are testing out whether smart door locks - controlled remotely with your mobile phone - could be used to let a postman in to deliver your shopping while you're out.
In a focus group of 750 online shoppers, about half of people said they would be willing to grant access to their home remotely to a Bpost delivery worker.
To test the idea out, Bpost arranged for smart locks to be fitted at the homes of several hundred of the focus group participants, who were then invited to place an order and pick a delivery window at Zalando - and not be at home.
According to Bpost, 93% of the customers taking part in the experiment were happy with the results.
"The test focused on how customers interact and respond to this new service," said Patrick Leysen, from Bpost's new technology division, Future Lab. "We wanted to see to what extent customers were comfortable with the idea of a delivery person coming to their home while they weren't there."
Bpost is also looking at whether the system could work in reverse - for returning unwanted goods - whereby a Bpost worker would enter a home and pick up a parcel to take back to its sender.
If further tests are successful, and as more homes are getting equipped with connected devices, Bpost could offer the service alongside existing options such as nominating a safe hiding place for the parcel, nominating a neighbour, or having the parcel picked up from a Cubee locker in a nearby location.