Eufy SmartDrop Mailbox | $149 | Kickstarter
It happens to the best of us. You place an order online and it arrives on your doorstep only to have it stolen while you’re out on the town. And while your instinct may be to snatch up that Ring doorbell while it’s on sale, it’s highly discouraged by our friends at Gizmodo. Reports surfaced the company had not only teamed up with police forces to spy on its users, but it had also inadvertently leaked their Wi-Fi credentials to hackers, a huge loss for digital privacy advocates. Since then, plenty of alternatives have cropped up, including SmartDrop from Eufy Security, a “smart mailbox” whose Kickstarter campaign doubled its $50,000 funding goal in just over an hour and a half this morning.
Ignoring for a moment the ethical and moral concerns surrounding its competitors, the SmartDrop box even makes more sense as a concept than a smart doorbell. When it’s empty, couriers can simply tap a button and place your package in the mailbox before it auto-locks so no one else can snoop through your belongings. With a temporary PIN, family and friends can drop off personal gifts and small packages when you’re not home. Without a code, postal service employees (please support the USPS!) can press the open button, sending a notification to your phone for your swift approval. In case you ever forget the master PIN or need to pop the hood when the battery dies, you can also use a physical key to crack it open. On the road or in your home, the SmartDrop is both Alexa- and Google Assistant-compatible if you prefer to unlock it using voice commands.
No matter which of the five methods your delivery person chooses, a 1080p camera is equipped to surveil the area at any time. Two-way audio ensures clear communication with the person on the other end. Should a complete stranger arrive on your front porch, you can kindly ask their business and let them know you’re not home to engage in further discussion. Included in the SmartDrop Pro bundle (more on that in a sec) is a HomeBase 2 wireless home security camera system, which integrates with the SmartDrop to capture and record full clips of the interaction. Alternatively, you can purchase cloud storage, absent the need for separate hardware. Toggle from 1080p Live View to Night Vision to get a better look at the carrier ... or culprit ... or just someone with the wrong address.
Rain or shine, Eufy claims the SmartDrop is also weatherproof up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s water-resistant, too, thanks to a “sophisticated water diversion system,” according to Eufy, perhaps easing apprehension over a preciptation-based demise. Speaking of its composition, the mailbox is made from a high-density, cold-rolled carbon steel, coated with an anti-corrosion material and an additional hydrophobic coating layered on top. Unfortunately, some assembly is required, BUT on the bright side, putting it together only takes around 20 minutes, or so Eufy says. Those of us cursed with the inability to successfully complete handiwork on time will surely take at least 45 minutes. Still, it seems pretty straightforward judging by the diagram.
Yup, Eufy has ostensibly thought of everything, from accessibility to package size (the SmartDrop mailbox fits 98% of packages, assuming they’re under 23" x 14.4" x 12" (HLW). The Kickstarter campaign has four different reward tiers, all of which are classified as “Super Early Bird” as of this writing: SmartDrop ($149+), SmartDrop Pro ($199+), SmartDrop 2-kit bundle ($299+), and SmartDrop Pro Bundle ($348+). While the base package features a SmartDrop unit, a battery pack, a USB charger, foot bumper pads, a gas strut, and a key, the top-end bundle adds a second SmartDrop, a Homebase 2, two battery packs, a pair of chargers, two gas struts, an extra foot bumper pad, a couple of keys, a power adapter, and an Ethernet cable. All four are estimated to ship in June 2021. Get a headstart and back it today for a shot at an additional colorway at the $1.5 million stretch goal. Safeguard your mail from “porch piracy” today.