UPS began testing the program in Manhattan earlier this year, and has now expanded it to Brooklyn. The company said there is a chance the service could eventually be offered throughout the U.S.
“The use of smart access devices on doors of apartment and condominium buildings is a big step forward for the package delivery business,” Jerome Roberts, UPS vice president of global product innovation, said in a press release. “It can be difficult to securely deliver packages in high-density, multi-family urban residences, especially when people are not at home. Smart access devices give us a keyless way to deliver packages to buildings and leave packages safely in lobbies or building package rooms. For our customers, it gives them peace of mind that their package will be waiting for them when they get home.”
With the system, a UPS driver taking packages to a Latch-enabled building receives a unique credential that works only for a specific building. Anytime a driver uses the credential, Latch records the entry digitally to create an audit trail.
Residents can use their smartphones to unlock doors throughout a building, including the main entrance. An embedded wide-angle camera within each driver’s device captures every interaction by a non-resident, so that authorized users can monitor deliveries from the Latch mobile app.
UPS is only using Latch systems to enter buildings, not individual apartments.
“We believe that smart access can fundamentally change the way people live in urban environments,” said Luke Schoenfelder, Latch CEO. “Enabling deliveries with UPS is one of the most significant parts of that evolution.”
UPS is the latest company to offer a more secure delivery service. Walmart began delivering packages inside homes as part of a test with August Home smart lock customers in September, while Amazon launched Amazon Key, which enables its delivery workers to unlock a customer’s door to drop a package inside.