One thing from CES 2020 I'm definitely buying is a Yale Smart Delivery Box

Yale Smart Delivery Box
Yale Smart Delivery Box (Image credit: Yale)

There are a lot of boxes you can put on your porch or at the end of your driveway to keep deliveries safe. It's not a hard concept to figure out; we've all been doing it for years with a simple mailbox. But having a larger version that can be locked isn't quite as simple. It looks like Yale's new Smart Delivery Box has the simple part all figured out.

No codes to mess with or any special delivery instructions are needed. It's auto-magic.

Yes, UPS and FedEx and other delivery services can use codes and unlock boxes or scan bar codes or even unlock your house or garage to drop off a package. But what Yale is doing is so much simpler — you pair it with an outdoor camera and unlock it manually (not so simple), or you set it so it is unlocked until it has been opened once.

You can always unlock it through an app (of course there is an app for everything), but setting it up so the UPS driver can open the lid, put in my package, and when the lid is shut it locks until I unlock it is pretty genius. And as someone who does most shopping online and has had a package stolen from my porch, I think a simple solution that needs no installation is just what I need.

The only drawback is that it's a big, ugly plastic box that a thief could pick up, run off with, and bust open with a crowbar. The picking up and running off part is easy to fix with a couple of concrete anchors and lag bolts, but the crowbar part isn't anything that could be changed. I understand that a locked plastic bin is probably going to make a thief look for an easier target and it doesn't have to be made of titanium to be a deterrent, but I'd still like to see a metal version.

Anyone with a crowbar can probably wreck one of these things, but no thief wants to do all that in front of a camera.

The ugly part is easy to deal with — Krylon Fusion paint for plastic comes in all sorts of finishes and is easy to spray on.

It's not too expensive, either. I'm not very happy that I need to spend money because some people will steal anything that's not bolted down, but the whole shebang with a Yale Wi-Fi Bridge checks in at $129. That's a lot cheaper than most of the stuff I get shipped here for work, as well as the stuff I buy for myself. Besides, having a treasure box that you can lock on your porch is a cool idea.

Once they are available, I'll pick one up and let everyone know what I think about it. Paired with a good outdoor security camera or two, it should make my house one that thieves will drive past instead of stopping to snoop.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.