Building an IoT-Powered Secure Home Delivery Solution
Very partnered with Loxx Boxx to design and engineer a web-connected steel lockbox to protect front-porch deliveries from being stolen.
Software Engineering, Hardware Engineering, Mobile App Development, Product Design
Platformio, React Native, Ruby on Rails
Loxx Boxx is a startup with a mission: to stop porch pirates from stealing packages delivered to your doorstep. To do this, the company’s founders envisioned a secure lockbox that users could control via a mobile app — and they needed an IoT development partner to make their idea a reality.
In just 8 months, Very partnered with Loxx Boxx to design and engineer their flagship product — a web-connected steel lockbox for their customers to protect their deliveries. Consumers who purchase a Loxx Boxx can:
- Automatically track all of their packages from shipment to delivery
- Get real-time notifications of all Boxx activity sent to their mobile device
- Monitor temperature inside the Boxx for temperature-sensitive deliveries, like groceries
As a startup basing its business around its flagship product, full IP ownership was a major concern for Loxx Boxx on this project.
At Very, providing clients with IP ownership is part of our standard procedure. As Loxx Boxx searched for an IoT development partner, this policy was a deciding factor for choosing to work with our team.
We began the Loxx Boxx engagement with our Technical Design Sprint, where we developed a phased product roadmap and established that we’d design the hardware, write the firmware, and assist in the manufacture of the devices. Additionally, we would complete a total software launch for a cross-platform mobile app (iOS and Android) and a backend admin application.
For the hardware portion of the project, our mechanical and electrical engineers prioritized secure hardware design to provide maximum security.
Based on the amount of work needed to produce the hardware and the timeline available, Very decided to pair with an offshore team in China to manufacture over 1,000 units, which we validated on our end before finalizing. During this process, we worked with Loxx Boxx’s leaders to establish the supply chain for the product and to give them full ownership, so that the company could easily keep production going after our engagement ended. We also acted as technical expertise as Loxx Boxx made decisions about sourcing globally.
For the firmware and software portions of the project, the Very team used:
|Platformio to develop the device firmware that runs on the Loxx Boxx device||React Native to build the mobile app for both iOS and Android||Ruby on Rails to architect a backend admin app that manages application data|
The Ruby on Rails app is hosted on Heroku and uses a Postgres database. The device communicates over MQTT and events are routed through a serverless data pipeline for processing.
The final box itself is battery-powered, connects to a user’s mobile phone via Bluetooth, and connects to the cloud via WiFi. Feature parity engineered into the device between WiFi and Bluetooth means that users can control the device without a WiFi connection if their mobile phone is within Bluetooth range.
“The team at Very was dynamic throughout the design process, utilizing an ebb and flow of team members allowing for technical expertise at each stage of development,” says Brian Clark, COO at Loxx Boxx. “Direct communication with the team and real-time updates were driven by daily meetings that gave a forum for discussion around critical areas of design and implementation.”
The quality of work from the Very team has given us a distinct advantage over our competitors.”
COO AT LOXX BOXX
By partnering with Very, Loxx Boxx was able to launch an end product that puts them ahead of the game in their sector. Most importantly, they own the IP and the supply chain for the completed solution.
“As we’ve launched our product, we lead the market with the most advanced home receiving solution,” Brian says. “The quality of work from the Very team has given us a distinct advantage over our competitors.”
Post-launch, Loxx Boxx has continued to work with Very to support its products, optimizing their performance through dedicated maintenance and quality assurance.
“Now in the support phase of our project, I’m continually impressed by the timely and thoughtful responses to the issues that arise,” Brian says.