Smart Package Locker System

Sustainability Issues

As e-commerce becomes interestingly popular among the younger population, receiving packages in an easier and safer way also becomes a concern. The traditional delivery method of leaving packages on doorsteps for single-family homes or handing them to the doorman at apartment buildings are not only vulnerable to theft but also time-consuming to process – an unreliable delivery method during predominate e-commerce era when a household receives multiple packages a day. A smart package locker system that could be configured to adapt the setting of residential/ commercial areas is expected to significantly improve package- receiving experiences. This technology has been implemented by Amazon in some neighborhoods and areas (Amazon Locker) but could be expanded to more residential/ commercial buildings potentially.

Technology: Smart Locker System 

  • Install smart locker system in apartment/commercial buildings, residential areas based on estimated service population size and grant delivery carriers (UPS, USPS, FedEx, HDL) access to the locker.
  • Instead of going door-by-door to leave packages on the doorsteps or handing them to the doorman, delivery staff place packages inside the smart locker and input the recipient’s information in the locker by scanning the shipping label.
  • Once a package has been placed in a locker, an automated text message will be sent by the locker system to the package’s intended recipient with a barcode or PIN number.
  • To retrieve the package, the recipient simply scan the barcode he or she received earlier or input the PIN number at the smart locker
  • The smart locker system could also be utilized to drop-off out-going packages.

Stakeholders

  • Postal carriers (UPS, USPS, FedEx, HDL, etc.)
  • Property owners of residential/commercial buildings
  • Residents
  • Smart locker system provider

Deployment 

  • Property owners/managers conduct a survey of building users and residents to estimate to estimate size of locker needed
  • Contact locker provider to configure and install smart locker system in the building
  • Grant delivery carriers access to the smart locker and provide them with proper training

Source

http://www.southwestsolutions.com/equipment/package-tracking-lockers-mail-delivery-distribution-locker-audit-trail#view-brochures

http://signifi.com/hardware-solutions/smartlocker/

UNI: MH3730

Communicating without Internet Access Using Mesh Networks

1. Sustainability problem: Communications without internet access

Having an internet connection is key for communication these days. However, natural disasters can disrupt existing internet connection and many places don’t have reliable and wide-spread internet coverage to begin with. Furthermore, some people simply cannot afford to connect to the internet.

Category: Safety and Health 

2. Technology summary

Source: “Bridgefy lets developers build mesh networks into their apps”, Techcrunch (https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/18/bridgefy-lets-developers-build-mesh-networking-into-their-apps/)

  • This article discusses Bridgefy, a company that created a software development kit (SDK) for developers to integrate mesh networking capabilities into their iOS and Android apps
  • The mesh networking functionality allows smartphones to communicate even when there’s no access to the internet by creating a network of phones connected by Bluetooth
  • Phones can communicate directly with each other (across a distance of no more than 330 ft) or with phones further away as long as they are indirectly connected through other Bluetooth-enabled phones
  • Other companies, such as Open Garden, have tried to do similar things but have had difficulties making the technology work seamlessly
  • This technology has many use cases, ranging from disaster relief efforts and providing arriving refugees with connectivity to enabling education applications

Tags: #smartcommunication #internet #meshnetworks #bluetooth

3. Organizational stakeholders

As mentioned, there are many different use cases and, therefore, stakeholders for this technology. Across the board, developers are the key stakeholders as they need to use Bridgefy’s SDK to build or update their apps. Next, users of apps that include Bridgefy’s functionality need to be made aware of the mesh network functionality so that they use the relevant apps, enable Bluetooth, and allow the network to form. Depending on the type of app the specific stakeholders will vary, but this could include civilians/individuals, government officials, hospital employees, etc.

4. Technology deployment

Early deployment has to focus on a) making sure the technology works seamlessly from a technical perspective and b) creating a large enough mesh network for the technology to work from a practical perspective.

  1. Educate the public about the mesh network functionality of the app and its reliance on Bluetooth (the mesh network has more value when more people enable Bluetooth and use apps using this feature)
  2. Partner with app developers/companies that already have a large network of users and provide them with the feature at a discounted price, e.g., Uber (the company has a broad network within cities and has a use case for this technology, e.g., when users are traveling abroad and want to use the app but don’t have access to internet)
  3. Work with / advocate for hardware providers to improve their Bluetooth technology

5. Comment on another post

I commented on “Truck Platooning” (DCT2131)

This platooning technology has implications beyond the trucking industry. These connected vehicles also collect data on the road and traffic conditions that can be shared with other connected cars and the government to improve safety and traffic more generally.

https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/23/truck-platooning/comment-page-1/#comment-1460