uCella Q&A

Install uCella

How do I activate uCella?

Step 1: download the uCella app in the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

iPhone App Android App

Step 2: create an account (sign up) and complete your registration with the activation link you receive by e-mail. Check your spambox if necessary. Now you can use the app.

Step 3: activate the parcelbox. Insert the battery, press the ‘home’ button and then ‘unlock’ and ‘activate’ on the screen. Press and hold the black ‘WiFi’ button on the inside (below the control panel) until the WiFi connection is shown on the screen. Connect your phone to this network temporarily via the WiFi settings of your phone.

Step 4: open the uCella App, go to ‘boxes’ and press the ‘+’ sign at the top right to add your device. Click on ‘Set up a new box’. Choose the WiFi network you want to connect uCella to permanently and enter the corresponding password.

Step 5: as soon as the device is connected to the WiFi network, you will see an activation code on the screen. Reconnect your phone to your usual WiFi network and enter the activation code in the mobile App. Give the device a recognizable name and fill in the physical address (location) of the device.

Step 6: Choose a personal code to open the device. uCella can also be opened with the barcode in the App (in ‘devices’ menu).

Your uCella is ready for use. Now you can e.g. share your uCella by inviting family members.  You can check or download the full user manual here.

 

How do I install uCella?

The installation of uCella is very simple. uCella is powered by a rechargeable battery, so it doesn’t have any wiring. You only have to keep it within range of your Wi-Fi network. uCella comes with a mounting template and fasteners to hang it on a wall or pole. Connect the device to your Wi-Fi network, activate your account and you a ready to go.

InstallationSteps_1_10


Receive & return parcels

How do I use uCella?

Smartphone app

  1. After your online order, you almost always get a message with a shipping code.
  2. You share this code through the uCella App with your parcelbox, where it acts as a onetime access code.
  3. Through the mobile app you are kept informed on the status of the delivery*.
  4. The delivery person simply scans the barcode and drops the package safely in the uCella.
  5. Immediately after delivery you receive a message via the mobile App.
  6. As a user, you open the uCella with your own PIN or QR-code in the mobile App.
  7. In the mobile App you can also view your order history with information on customer service and returns*.
  8. If you want to send something (back), you notify the store or courier to obtain a shipping code.
  9. This shipping code is also synchronized with your uCella.
  10. On the pick-up day, you will receive a reminder via the mobile App to place the package in the uCella.
* depending on the information exchange with the respective parcel service.

How does the courier know how to use uCella?

How does the courier know how to use uCella?

During the design process, many couriers were consulted to ensure that uCella is easy to operate. Couriers are not happy to face a closed door, go to the neighbors or leave the package unattended on the doorstep. During field tests a small sticker with operating instructions was placed over the device. Couriers had no problem to follow these instructions and after a few deliveries it went without saying. You get this sticker with the device.

For even greater clarity, you can specify on your order: “deliver to my uCella parcelbox”.

How does my uCella obtain shipping codes? (video)

 
uCella can exchange tracking codes in several ways.

  1. On your mobile phone, highlight the track & trace code (in the email / App of the shop / courier) and use the ‘share’ function to record the code in the uCella App.
    Note: If the track & trace code is incorporated into a hyperlink to a web page, only select the part containing the code.
  2. Still in development: in the uCella App you can enter one or more email addresses which you use when shopping online. uCella then scans your messages for tracking codes and processes them automatically. If you want, you can setup a separate (eg free Gmail) account for this purpose and link this to your uCella. You can then forward / have send the messages with track & trace codes to this email address.
  3. Still in development: uCella exchanges delivery data with an increasing number of web shops and delivery services. You can register your accounts with these collaborating companies in the uCella App to link the information directly.

How do I track my parcels?

When you shop online, you almost always get a shipping notification with a track & trace code. On your smartphone, you share this code with the uCella App. The code is stored in your uCella as onetime access code. The courier simply scans the barcode on the package to access the parcelbox. You can track and manage everything in the mobile App. You can also view all your orders at a glance, so you can easily find previous purchases with information on customer service and returns.

uCella is working on the further exchange of information with the larger delivery services. uCella will then process the track & trace code automatically and keep you informed on the status of your order until the delivery.

Which notifications does uCella give?

Using the track&trace code, uCella automatically follows the various steps in the shipping process. Whether those steps are all recorded and displayed, depends on the information exchange with the respective courier.

  1. Ordered: the order has been placed but not yet shipped.
  2. On the way: the order is shipped and on its way.
  3. in the uCella: the package has been delivered into the uCella.
  4. Received: the package has been retrieved from the uCella by the user.
  5. (Partially) returned: the order has been (partially) returned.
  6. Pick-up Request: a request to retrieve a package has been placed with the courier.
  7. Picked-up: a (return) package has been picked up by the courier.
  8. Arrived: a (return) package has been received by the recipient.
  9. Received?: The order has not been dropped-off in the uCella but has been delivered according to the tracking information of the courier. Click “Recieved?” in the App to confirm receipt.

Manage uCella

Can multiple users share a uCella?

Sure! Each user creates a personal uCella account and adds the device (see installation). In the mobile App you manage your own shipments, while sharing one and the same uCella parcelbox. Convenient for families, neighbors, buildings with multiple residents and businesses. Conversely, a user can link multiple uCella’s to his or her account. For example, one parcelbox at home and one at work.

Who has access to my uCella?

Only people with a valid access code can open the uCella. There are three types of codes; for users, couriers and guests. uCella users create their own PIN or use the QR-code in the App. Couriers simply scan the barcode on the package. This is the track & trace code in the shipping message that the user shares with the parcelbox through the App. Guests can obtain an access code from a user through the App. The access codes for couriers and guests are onetime only and expire automatically to prevent repeated use.

Can I limit the access?

Yes, you can block the access to uCella. For example, if you expect a sensitive or valuable package. After this delivery, uCella will be in lock-down until you retrieve the parcel. This will prevent another user from doing so. The disadvantage is, of course, that no other packages can be delivered or picked up in the meantime.


General information

What are the advantages of uCella?

uCella features

A parcelbox at home gives comfort and peace of mind. No longer the hassle of waiting for the delivery or not being at home when it arrives. uCella is a smart, expandable parcelbox that operates with normal track &  trace codes of webshops and couriers. The courier simply scans the barcode on the package to access the parcelbox. A unique code inside can act as a signature for receipt. Via the mobile App the user gets instant confirmation with the option of a voice message.

Virtually all other parcelboxes use a proprietary passcode. This complicates things for both the user and the courier. Or they are locked after only one delivery, which limits the use to one parcel at a time.

Apart from smart, uCella is also sleek. uCella has a stylish design with flexible content. When folded, it is the size of a larger mailbox. Unfolded, it offers ample space for multiple packages. Extensive fieldwork shows that approximately 95% of all packages fit. Most other parcelboxes have a set shape with limited capacity or are just very bulky.

What are uCella’s specs?

  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • 10,2 cm (4,0”) TFT LCD screen
  • Scanner for QR- and barcodes with IR nightview
  • Microphone (58-110 dB) and speaker (90 dB) for voice messages
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with internal backup power
  • Battery life of 3 months under average use
  • Backup power for 3 days (during recharging of batterypack)
  • Tested for use from -15 to 50 °C
  • Dimensions (HxWxD):
    • collapsed: approx. 58 x 55 x 11 cm
    • deployed: approx. 99 x 55 x 51 cm
    • interior: effectively approx. 95 x 48 x 44 cm

Where can I buy uCella?

uCella will soon be available in Europe. The suggested retail price is €349,- plus a subscription to the webservices of €2.95 a month (prices including VAT). You can already pre-order uCella in our webshop and take advantage of the launching offer.

How secure is uCella?

uCella materials

uCella is made of strong, durable composite materials with a rigid metal chassis. This way the contents are protected from weather, vandalism and theft. uCella cannot be openend easily by breaking or cutting. Additionally uCella uses a smart lock to safely store all your packages. As the saying goes, opportunity makes a thief, eg when packages are left unattended on the doorstep. Should it ever go wrong, both the uCella and its contents are covered by most home insurance policies.

What are uCella’s dimensions?

What are uCella's dimensions?

uCella is a foldout parcelbox. Retracted, uCella hangs like a flat letterbox on the wall. Expanded, uCella provides ample space for multiple packages. Dimensions (HxWxD):

  • collapsed: approx. 58 x 55 x 11 cm
  • deployed: approx. 99 x 55 x 51 cm
  • interior: approx. 95 x 48 x 44 cm (effectively)

Are there accessories?

Not yet. Together with our partners we are developing products like a separate mounting pole and decorative adhesives in many colors and designs. Once these accessories are available, you’ll find them in the shop.

What is the subscription service?

The use of standard track and trace codes is a major advantage of the uCella parcelbox. uCella continuously improves the exchange of shipping information with merchants and couriers, to keep offering you the best user experience. You will notice this by regular software updates of the parcelbox and mobile App.

In time we will offer additional services based on links with major parcel services and/or webshops. Think of the direct exchange of barcodes, an electronic signature for receipt and postage paid for (return) shipments from home (shipping costs will be booked in your account en collected periodically). This online service package will be subscription based. The owner (admin) will enter this subscription, which also applies to all other users of the parcelbox as authorized by the owner (manager). You will then have access to a premium version of the mobile App with this extra functionality.

 

 

Who is uCella Europe

uCella Europe is the exclusive partner of uCella Inc., the American producer of this global solution. uCella Europe is led by Paul van Gassel (LinkedIn) and Chris Leyds (LinkedIn).

uCella Europe is a trademark of Timetovalue BV. Our contact details are:
Amsterdamsestraatweg 65 | AX 1411 Naarden | info@ucella.me | +31 85 303 7856
NCOC 67433499 | VAT NL856987839B01 | IBAN NL27ABNA0530128160


Additional support

I have a another question about uCella

Take a look at the FAQ of uCella Inc. (USA). This information differs in some respects from the European version.

Your questions or comments are always welcome at info@ucella.me. Normally we respond within 2 business days.