Hardware, Devices & Sensors, Home Automation, IoT Applications, Makers

“You Received a Package!”: Build a Package Monitoring Device With Seeed Studio and Ubidots

Online shopping, a practice that has grown steadily and that was essential during the pandemic, has simplified and diversified commerce thanks to benefits such as comfort, a broader offer, and the possibility to compare products/prices from different vendors. However, it has also come with irritating drawbacks like package loss or, even worse, the so-called porch piracy.

As in many other areas, IoT has some tools to offer potential solutions or remedies to these problems. Nowadays, it’s even possible to make a device that uses AI to track the delivery of your packages and alert you about novelties via email in real time.

According to a SafeWise report, about 260 million packages were stolen this way in the US alone, amounting to $19.5 billion in losses. Unfortunately, it seems like porch piracy will only keep growing in tandem with online shopping since it’s both a low risk crime and it’s easy to commit.

Porch piracy is so annoying that, almost as a cathartic ritual, millions have watched Mark Rober’s YouTube series on his glitter bombs, a device meant for entertainment but that, nonetheless, highlights the need for solutions to this problem.

Possible mitigation strategies, however, require more than glitter bombs (you shouldn’t even try them), and include things like giving the delivery service special instructions or signing up for alerts.

Another part of an anti-piracy strategy involves the use of surveillance gadgets, like the one shared on Hackster by Hendra Kusumah. Even though cameras and other such devices won’t completely stop theft, they can act as decisive deterrents when integrated to a broader strategy.

This particular Hackster project centers on a TinyML package monitor that helps you recognize when a package is delivered thanks to, among other tools, Seeed Studio’s Grove Vision AI Module.

The module features a compact AI-powered camera sensor embedded with Edge Machine Learning algorithms and can be easily deployed with simple clicks. It is a small and great assistant for object detection projects, such as this one, and can be customized based on different needs.

Using this technology, Kusumah’s package monitor system notifies you every time a package reaches the field of vision of the Grove Vision camera by using Ubidots’ Events, a module that can be granularly configured so that you receive alerts, right when you need them, in the form of SMS, emails, calls or messaging app notifications.

Check out the full project by Hendra Kusumah and prevent becoming a victim of package theft, loss, or problems with the confirmation status not corresponding with reality.

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About Adriano Toro