Earlier this week, Latch, a B2B smart access startup, completed the world’s first unattended deliveries using smart access.
In a blog post, co-founder Luke Schoenfelder says Latch-enabled unattended deliveries kicked off on Monday, and are currently available for “thousands” of New Yorkers.
“Thousands of people in New York City are able to order anything they want from our partners online and know that they can return home to their packages without the threat of theft, inclement weather, or the dreaded ‘sorry we missed you’ door tag,” he wrote.
While it may seem like a straightforward idea, Schoenfelder says executing on this user experience has been surprisingly complex.
“It has taken us just over four years to perfect and actualize this experience for customers, building owners and partners, including countless hours of product research, hundreds of people, and millions of dollars in development to make this moment possible,” he adds.
The system, which looks like a regular door handle, was designed so that anyone can use it without special training.
Schoenfelder believes this simplicity will usher in a new wave of consumer shopping behavior, where “people increasingly order more and more products to their urban building (and suburban home) without ever going to a store.”
He adds: “While leading companies are spending billions of dollars to build warehouse robotics, autonomous vehicles and last mile couriers, access has remained unchanged. Today, Latch is introducing a fundamentally new capability into the ecosystem that will enable any merchant or carrier to provide a breakthrough experience to their customers.”