The Internet of Things also referred to as IoT, is the conglomeration of devices that collect and share data via the internet. If something is connected to the internet, other than a PC or smartphone, it is likely included in the definition of IoT. Think of Smart TVs, fitness watches, Smart Thermostats, security cameras, and intelligent lockers as parts of the IoT ecosystem. Predictions by leading tech companies anticipate that by 2025, over 41 billion devices will make up the IoT.
The term ”smart locker” can also refer to a locker connected to the internet and controlled remotely. This type of smart locker is often used in conjunction with the IoT ecosystem. The IoT is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity, enabling these things to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but can inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure.
For example, a smart locker in a school could be connected to a school’s IoT system. This would allow the school to track which students are using which locker, and when. The school could also use the IoT system to control the locks on the smart lockers remotely. There are many benefits and practical uses when smart lockers are superpowered through the IoT infrastructure.
1. For One, Smart Lockers Don’t Require Keys
Typically, a pin code, a mobile app, or biometric data is used to unlock a smart locker. This means no more lost keys, no more rekeying, no more lockouts, and access to the locker can be controlled remotely all from the touch of a button. Further – an administrator can restrict access to the smart locker for certain users. For example, a doctor in a hospital could write a script for a medication. When ready, a pharmacist could place the medicine inside of a smart locker, where only a specific doctor or nurse would then be able to open the locker and administer the proper medicine to the proper patient.
2. Second, Smart Lockers Leave A Digital Access Log When Opened Or Closed
An administrator can tell when, where and who accessed a locker at any given time. Some smart lockers have cameras inside or outside, allowing a user to see what was taken or received. This has many practical purposes for keeping an inventory of items and helping small business owners make better purchasing decisions.
3. Smart Lockers Can Also Be Used To Offer Contactless Pickup And Delivery
In a post-pandemic world, this is important, especially as we head into flu and cold season. Not only does contactless delivery help with health and safety, it can also be used to offer customers more privacy and flexibility when they pick up items. For example, if a smart locker has a biometric reader, a recipient would only need to face a camera, and the IoT would recognize the individual’s face, thus opening the right locker. The locker could then pop open automatically, allowing the recipient to only touch the box and nothing else.
4. The Iot Can Strengthen The Security Of A Smart Locker
Because lockers typically are not attended by a human, a smart locker system could be outfitted with facial recognition technology, or use AI cameras to detect motion, which would then trigger a video recording. Some smart lockers even have speakers or alarm systems built in to deter theft. Lastly, a smart locker system could be programmed to detect when a forced entry occurs, alerting an administrator in real time that theft might be occurring.
There are many benefits that the IoT can provide when used in conjunction with smart locker systems. Labor costs can be reduced, security and documentation can be strengthened, and business owners can continue to unlock new possibilities with the strength and flexibility of smart parcel locker systems. Smart lockers can also be customized for any unique situation, and accessed at all times, providing even more convenience to customers and retailers.
As IoT continues to grow and technology advances, the capability of everyday items will become more intelligent, helping us to streamline processes and protect assets. At DeBourgh we have been offering custom solutions for clients with locker needs of all types, including healthcare lockers, staff lockers, smart school lockers, asset-tracking lockers, and much more. Please contact us today to speak with a locker expert.