"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 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.

eric martin

Eric Martin and Bekir Buyukkocabas will showcase their "smart bench" alongside hundreds of other exhibitors at the Interior Design Show. ((Eric Martin))

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.