Louisville man invents smart mailbox to combat package theft

Louisville man invents smart mailbox to combat package theft

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE 3) – A Louisville man has launched a business, MailHaven, to protect packages from thieves.

The product is a smart mailbox. It allows mail and delivery services access to a secure delivery box outside a home or neighborhood.

Kela Ivonye, the founder of MailHaven, studied Geographic Information Sciences at the University of Louisville. He's passionate about using technology to solve problems. The MailHaven concept was born when he ran into one himself.

"I missed a delivery that was for my sister. She was going out of the country and we missed that delivery, and I spent a couple hundred dollars to ship that delivery because she missed it. I was like, wow, this is a bigger problem, I believe I'm the one to solve this. So we went right on with that," Ivonye said.

Ivonye invented Mail Haven, a smart mailbox that allows a mail courier to access the box for deliveries. The package recipient uses the MailHaven app on their smart phone to open the mailbox securely and get their package.

"So the way it would work if we installed it in your yard, UPS would know you have a Haven, and whenever they would come to make a delivery instead of going to your front door they would just come directly to the Haven and operate it," Ivonye explained.

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The Mail Haven app also acts as a streamlined package tracker and can track packages from multiple carriers. The app alerts the recipient of the estimated package delivery time.

The company is hoping to make its first install by the end of December. Installations for the pilot program will begin in January and February. MailHaven plans to be up and running for business by February 2018.

MailHaven is asking 50 people to be part of the pilot program with UPS. Program participants buy a MailHaven for $200 and pay a $9 monthly fee for the service. Then, when the new version of MailHaven is launched, those 50 participants will receive a smart mailbox for free. To learn more about MailHaven, click here.

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