"Porch pirates" may discover that pickings are a bit slim in the not-too-distant future. CNBC reports that Amazon is said to be working on two specific ways to cut down on the problem of thieves stealing boxes off customers' porches:
- Your car trunk: Amazon is working with a company called Phrame that makes "smart" license plates fitted with boxes that hold keys to the car. Owners could grant access, even remotely, to delivery drivers, who could then open the box with their phones and put the delivery into the trunk.
- Your house: The company is also working on a smart doorbell that would allow drivers to enter the house and drop packages inside. (Walmart is experimenting with a similar idea.)
How well such strategies work might depend on how comfortable people become with "smart locks," notes a post at ZDNet. In the meantime, lots of people are relying on more old-school video surveillance, and Consumerist rounds up some notable caught-red-handed episodes. The problem is indeed big: One survey by Shorr Packaging suggests that 31% of American shoppers have gotten stung in this way. (Read more Amazon stories.)