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 Smart Locker Software – The need for a standard solution

Smart Locker Software – The need for a standard solution

João Lopes

Founder & COO at Bloq.it

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As the smart locker industry grows rapidly, more sectors benefit from the use of this technology, and new players join the ecosystem.

This is great for the industry – more players mean more innovation and that more people can benefit from the upcoming trend.

But as more players join the picture, and the offer for smart lockers becomes further diversified, a need arises:

The need for a universal standard smart locker software solution – that can create a bridge between all the players, manufacturers, and users.

The Smartphone analogy

A few years ago, ‘smartphone’ was not a commonly used word – most people didn’t have one, or even knew what the word meant.

Nowadays, not only virtually everyone knows what is, but everyone has one.

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The growth of the smartphone industry

I believe smart lockers will follow the same path – at a smaller scale in terms of units, but close in terms of user adoption.

One of the key accelerators for smartphone adoption was the fact that a lot of different companies saw the potential, flooding the market with options.

Having many players made the industry better, it created competition – that incentivized lower prices, innovation, the development of new features, and better products.

On the other hand… a big problem for the smartphone industry, at an early stage, was the fact that every manufacturer had to develop their own software for their device.

This created a fragmented industry, where devices from different brands had very different capabilities.

The content and software were not universal, and third parties had a hard time innovating with this framework.

Android – The paradigm change

Then… in 2008, Android appeared and quickly took over the market. With the exception of Apple with iOS, all the manufacturers that tried to battle against Android ultimately failed.

Android was the software solution that created bridges between all the players in the industry – from manufacturers, third-party developers to users.

Nowadays, virtually every smartphone uses Android, so whether you buy an LG, a SONY, or a Huawei smartphone, you know what you will get, and that you’ll able to access the same apps and devices you’re already used to.

The results of having a standard software solution

This allowed for great innovation – no longer the manufacturer of the phone was the one deciding the use-cases and functionalities of the device.

This democratization allowed for endless innovation from app developers, companies, and others.

The result? The mind-blowing number of apps available in Google Play – close to 3 million.

All of the sudden, the smartphone could do virtually anything, there were no limits for creativity.

The key take-aways for the Smart Locker Industry

The smart locker industry is following the same path as the smartphone industry did a few years back.

New use-cases, new providers, new players, new entrepreneurs trying to create and optimize businesses on top of this infrastructure.

Now the question arises – will the software side of things follow the same path?

After operating in this new industry for almost three years, seeing its development and advances, I truly believe the need for a standard software solution is growing.

And once it happens, it will lead to acceleration of the growth and adoption of this technology.

It will also bring a lot of innovation, new use-cases, new players, and new habits – essentially, it will disrupt this and other larger industries.

This makes it key to ensure that there are enough resources and attention placed into the smart locker software.

A more practical case (…)

Why should smart locker software be same or similar in most smart lockers?

Well, it’s simple – smart lockers need third parties and they often need to integrate with them.

From logistic companies, using them as parcel delivery lockers, retailers using them as click & collect solutions to e-commerce platforms using them as a delivery option.

They all need to integrate the smart locker networks with their current IT systems.

Therefore, a smart locker software solution that is universal is key.

Besides this, having a standard solution – will allow for new products and innovations to be built on top of the current infrastructure.

bloqit smart lockers software
Our COO, João Lopes, picking up a package in one of Bloq.it’s smart lockers

Key elements for a Universal Smart Locker Software Solution

Public API
An extensive intuitive public API is the first step to allow third parties to easily integrate their service with the smart locker networks.

Cloud-based
Being natively cloud-based is also a must, the smart lockers must be connected to a common network, this allows for over-the-air updates, remote control, data collection, and communication between services.

Adaptable
The software must be adaptable, fitting the different needs of multiple services and third parties, and making it simple to push new features and new use-cases.

Plug-and-play
The smart locker industry has many providers, that use different hardware configurations, the smart locker software must be easily installed and run on different hardware configurations.

User-centered
The software must be user-centered, making it easy and intuitive is one of the major keys to achieving user adoption. The user must understand how to use the system easily and be in control.

Scalable
A smart locker software solution like this needs to be capable to scale to large amounts of units, and have extensive networks of smart lockers, as well as multiple third-party services and an even larger number of users.

Customizable
Every third-party and service will need to have its own customized service, therefore, it’s important that this software is easily customizable – both in terms of features, settings, and esthetically.

Bloq.it OS – our proposal for the industry

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At Bloq.it – we’re creating the first smart locker software solution that fits all the previously mentioned elements.

Our goal is to become the standard global smart locker software solution.

If you’re interested in being one of the pioneering early adopters of our smart locker software – get in touch!