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Never miss a package again: Toronto inventor has a solution to missed postal deliveries.

The new type of mailbox will be previewed at this weekend's Interior Design Show.

"I love driving across town to pick up my missed deliveries — said no one ever," is how Eric Martin felt when he came up with the idea for Boxr, a "smart bench" that doubles as a secure mailbox. The prototype for this practical piece of furniture will be featured at the Interior Design Show this weekend.

The idea for a smart bench came to Eric Martin after his frustrations with missing packages and having to drive across the city to pick them up. (Eric Martin/North of Modern Inc.)

"It's from the experience of missing packages consistently, and not loving the drive across town to pick up those packages," he said. "So I thought, here's a somewhat interesting and simple design challenge."

Martin, founder and CEO of North of Modern Inc., designed Boxr with curb appeal in mind. The concept behind the idea has been in the works for over a year.

The bench has a lock activated by a keypad. The homeowner can then share that code in the delivery instructions for mail orders. Martin also envisions the box being used for food deliveries.

Martin and his co-founder, engineer Bekir Buyukkocabas, will be one of hundreds of exhibitors at the Interior Design Show, celebrating its 19th year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 

They plan on gathering feedback and launching a crowdfunding campaign to help with manufacturing costs in the fall. The units will retail for approximately $400.

As a designer, Eric Martin has built furniture for himself and for friends,

including this office setup - but Boxr is his first transition into entrepreneurship. (Eric Martin/Atelier Pool)

Martin, who has an architecture and design background, has created furniture in the past, but this is his first venture as an entrepreneur — something he's very excited about.

He plans on reaching out to Canada Post and other mail delivery companies to get them on board.

The Interior Design Show opens Jan. 19 and runs until Jan. 22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.



Toronto company invents new way to get home deliveries

It's easier than ever to shop online, but it's also super easy to miss your delivery (not all of us have concierges, okay?), and no one likes schlepping around the city to pick up their packages. Fortunately, one Toronto company has cooked up a solution to this problem.

Boxr, from the Toronto-based company North of Modern, seems like a pretty simple, albeit innovative fix. Architect Eric Martin and engineer Bekir Buyukkocabas teamed up to create a bench that also acts as a lockbox.

Delivery people would be able to drop off packages using a one-time passcode. Boxr's founders say they introduced their hybrid bench in response to our sharing economy.

"Boxr lets you share tools, toys and books with your neighbours when you're not home. And for homeowners who rent a room to guests or hire cleaners or tradespeople to work while they are not home, Boxr offers a secure pickup and drop-off point for keys," reads a Boxr news release.

They're even planning to introduce insulated liners so you could use Boxr as a cooler in the summertime.

Alas, you won't be able to get one of these benches just yet. The North of Modern team is debuting a prototype at the Interior Design Show, which starts today at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.