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Smart cardboard boxes turn homes into a self-storage unit

Work & Lifestyle

NeutralBOX comes with an app that lets users keep a visual inventory or scan boxes to easily see what's in them.

Locating items that are somewhere in one of masses of boxes can often be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Smart technologies are now making this process easier, and self-storage startup Boxbee is already enabling customers to digitally inventorize their stored belongings. Now Japanese stationery company King Jim is letting homeowners do the same thing at home with its NeutralBOX, which comes with an app that lets users keep a visual inventory or scan boxes to easily see what’s in them.

The system is essentially a replacement for scrawled Sharpie markings and lists kept on scraps of paper to identify boxes, requiring users to instead simply write a 3-number code on the bottom. By scanning the code with King Jim’s DIGITAL TAG app, an inventory of that box is created, which users can populate with notes and photos of the objects inside. As many boxes as needed can be added, so long as they’re given a unique code. If an item is needed, users can either load up the app to check which box they need before they head into the attic, or quickly check what’s inside each box without needing to open it.

The boxes range from JPY 700 for a small size to JPY 1,300 for extra large, while the app is free to download for iOS devices. Can even greater functionality be added to simple cardboard boxes to make them even more functional?



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