A Smarter Package Room

Originally Posted at Habitat Magazine

Cut the clutter. For many co-ops and condos and their building staff, handling the rising tide of packages and parcels remains a logistical headache. But for doorman buildings with existing package rooms, high-tech is coming to the rescue by offering boards a growing number of options to deal with the deluge of deliveries.

Bells and whistles. The newest entry in the booming market is Position Imaging’s Smart Package Room. Carriers receive an entry code or key fob from the concierge to access the locked package room, where they scan package labels at a wall monitor before placing them on the shelves. Recipients are notified via text and email, and access the room by inputting their own unique personal identification number or scanning a QR code; the monitor then displays a map showing the location of their parcel. Once inside, a speaker system guides them to the right shelf, where a blinking light will be flashing and a laser beam circles their package.

Make no mistake. What if a resident somehow picks up the wrong package? “A voice alarm sounds immediately saying they’ve made a mistake and directs them to put it back,” says Ned Hill, the founder and chief executive officer of Position Imaging. “Our system is not only a great way to secure access to your package room, but our computer vision technology also keeps track of each and every item.” For a 100-unit building, Smart Package Room costs around $10,000 for the initial installation, and there is a monthly charge of $2 per apartment after that.

Lights not included. Buildings can also take their pick of other controlled access package rooms minus the sound and light show. Those already using Package Concierge’s automated lockers can expand their system by adding a similarly secured package room to store oversized items or accommodate the overflow when lockers are full. HelloPackage sends residents a one-time-use access code to retrieve their parcels, as does Luxer One’s Luxer Room, which uses video surveillance with access logs to maintain accountability. For a 50-unit building, hardware and installation cost about $5,000, with a flat $200 monthly fee.

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