TrackPIN: Garage door PIN management for unattended package delivery

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #1


  1. Looks like something worthwhile integrating with SmartThings.

  2. Looks like something that could be replicated with SmartThings and any smart garage door control… But we still need a weatherproof PIN pad.

Let the UPS guy in with Tracking Number
(Jeff DeWolfe) #2

Very cool! Costs way too much, especially for someone that already has a MyQ setup. Just need Liftmaster and/or SmartThings to do something similar. Cool find!

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

Yup! I wonder how hard it is to establish the helpful relationships with UPS and FedEx? Their “my” tracking services are open to all customers, so I presume the email based API is not too hard to integrate with; and their drivers would be already familiar with the concept of using a “garage door opener PIN pad” with a temporary PIN, etc., regardless of the actual brand of hardware or back-end.

(Bob Sanford) #4

I don’t know. I’m lucky if my UPS/FedEx driver rings the doorbell, much less enters a pin, wait for the door, close the door, etc.

The time schedule these drivers operate under seems like the biggest hurdle for a product like this!

(Eric) #5

Yep. If you won’t tip or pay more, then PIN system is DOA. Just deliver that stuff to the office or your girlfriend’s house or whever you go during the day.

If it’s big and has to go to your garage then DIY/ST/Burglar alarm system can do it cheaper with remote garage door opener and IP cameras.

They won’t deliver big stuff without signature anyway. I wouldn’t want that either. Now, if you could sign remotely with garage delivery then you might have a working remote delivery system.

Ahhh none this makes sense anyway. If you don’t inspect upon delivery, it’s a ripoff waiting to happen.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

Ah… That’s where you are missing the key reason why UPS and FedEx decided to finally offer “door code” unattended drop off – it is much cheaper and faster to spend a couple minutes entering a PIN to put the delivery in the garage (or similar secure location) than to have to fill out a door tag / sticky notice and come back up to twice more and then hold the package at the depot which must be staffed for pickups, and finally return to sender in too many instances.

I have a gated area that looks sufficiently secure that most of my packages are just left there. But they still end up taking some responsibility for theft.

I think this product is a good idea, but certainly with hurdles. My dogs at home, for example, would get into trouble if the garage opened.


I don’t know: I’m not feeling this one.

First: cloud.

Second: hackability.

Third: several garage door controllers already offer time code pins.

Fourth: if the package is that big, is it really coming UPS and not freight delivery?

Fifth: package placement. What keeps it from getting run over when the teenage kid gets home?

I’m not saying the product can’t succeed from an engineering side, it just doesn’t feel practical to me. But there may be people who love it, it will just depend on the use case.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

Sixth: Delivery company liability for the entire security of the home if the door fails to close or someone else uses the PIN, or the carrier is suspected to be a thief.

That was the primary concern I had in mind when I thought of how to accomplish this in the past (since I’ve always had a garage PIN pad or keypad front door.

But UPS and FedEx have decided to make it an official service to take door PINs as deliver instructions now, so I presume they’ve weighed and covered legal concerns.

TrackPIN’s product is automatic cloud based management of the codes, which is a big improvement over manual management.

If I didn’t work from home, I definitely would replicate this system using SmartThings.

So what does it take to hack together a weatherproof PIN pad?

(Kevin Shuk) #9

Bingo. At least not in the critical path to completing its base function.

Sure, but are any connected in such a way that the codes can be centrally managed in the same way that Yale/Schlage/Kwikset products for residential entry doors currently can?

I’m not sold on the use case as presented, either, but I would like something very similar.

I’ve wondered the same thing as @tgauchat. More specifically, though, with the function of existing weatherproof keypads for GDOs, but with a LockCodes capability for code management, and Alerts to code usage & errors. Oh, and Battery, of course :wink:

A must-have requirement is, in the absence of connectivity, it must still emit the signal to actuate the GDO when a code is entered, which means that codes must be stored in device, much like the door lock products I already mentioned.

I noticed that TrackPIN helpfully omitted “What if my internet is down?” from their FAQ. That’s telling.


Here’s the weird thing…rumor is this is based on an existing hack used by burglars in very high end neighborhoods, and if so, it makes their task way easier if they have the right tools.

Did you notice the part where your door has to have a bump sensor? It looks like they’re in some way interfering with the beam or beam detection to make the door think it hit something.

So many things which can go wrong if that’s true. But I don’t know for sure.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

I fail to understand the “cloud” concerns in this thread, since, as SmartThings customers, we rely on cloud connectivity for all ST functionality. I presume that TrackPIN pushes a list of currently valid codes to the pad, and they are either marked as one-time use, expire-by, and/or are cancelled after delivery confirmation by another push. Much easier than manual maintenance.

Overall, I think the concept reduces risk, primarily due to package loss, but, if in practice the carriers take care to ensure the door is closed, then a GDO pad isn’t riskier than a key pad deadbolt.


I don’t rely on SmartThings for barrier detection, though, I use a non cloud based security system for that.

And with hub 2 promising local operation, it seems valid to raise the point about new devices/services…

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #13


I would “never” buy an automated door look that did not have a physical key option (and I keep a physical key in a mechanical-combination secure weatherproof key-box).

Having a keypad on the automated deadbolt, now becomes a third method of access; probably used in this method: 1. keypad, 2. HA system, 3. physical key.

Only option #2 currently requires SmartThings to be up and cloud connected.

Similarly for any garage door opening system. Of course, if the cloud disconnects, then PIN management is lost, and enabling or disabling lock codes is temporarily disabled, so receiving packages or re-securing the door may be temporarily disabled. I don’t think this would be a frequent problem.


But the point is that as @surfous mentioned PIN access is NOT lost on most existing smart doorlocks and garage doors, typically this info is stored locally.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #15

I think that is also the way that TrackPIN works (or I see no reason why it shouldn’t have been designed that way, unless there is too limited memory for local PIN storage, and/or they decided it was essential to have cloud access at the time of PIN usage in order to guarantee PINs are current and also to guarantee garage open notification event is recorded in the cloud.

(Tim Slagle) #16

This is such an interesting idea… I like to find myself asking why. I think this is a very important question among any circle. Why do we need this?

You are giving someone access to your garage that you don’t know. Good? Probably not…

Is this not the same as just providing the garage code in the notes section for delivery? Why don’t we do this now? Probably because we don’t want to give someone access to our garages. Garages can be used to store all sorts of stuff… me… i store my automotive tools in there. Of which none are particularly cheap.

So the question begs, why does this product suppose that we are suddenly ready to give a stranger intimate access to our home?

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

Due to the tremendous growth of online sales (Amazon! eBay!..!) households are getting more deliveries than ever. Neighborhood locker services (like Buffer Box?) are one solution, but inconvenient and fee based.

Package theft is a serious growing problem. Thieves actually follow UPS & FedEx trucks waiting for drop offs.

With TrackPIN or similar, you have an excellent compromise solution. Access is restricted to the deliver person via PIN (which is new from the plain old delivery instructions, and officially sanctioned by UPS and FedEx). Net result is higher security (less package theft), though it helps if your garage has restricted access to the rest of the home.

(Tim Slagle) #18

I guess I think a little differently. My garage has some of the highest value items in my home (not including my car).

I’d love to see a lock box that I can bolt to the outside of my home that has this functionality :smile:

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

No problem… Something like that exists. It may not be “smart”, but easy to add.

The problem is how to make it big enough, where to put it, keep it from being ugly…

(Tim Slagle) #20

Yeah… Questions that need to be answered for sure. Ideally you could build it into the house facade and it wouldnt be a big buldge… What could be done is to section off a third car garage… But that seems like a waste of space. Lol