menu

Automated Post Office Marks The Rise Of Robotic Retail

technology

Swapbox kiosks around San Francisco allow users to send and receive packages during convenient hours of the day

Simone Spilka
  • 4 august 2014


The introduction of FedEx solved the lag time for postage with same-day shipping across the States. However, the 9-5 time frame associated with shipping packages or receiving deliveries caused major inconvenience for customers using the service. Now, thanks to Swapbox, a startup by Y Combinator alumni Neel Murthy, large lockers installed across the Bay Area have positive implications for consumers who are unavailable during post office hours.

Swapbox is an automated post office where customers can send and receive packages safety and conveniently from kiosks. Users drop off their item to the local Swapbox machine, chose a shipping speed, and enter in a delivery address. The company can also professionally package items and deliver them with a trusted carrier. The specific tracking system ensures shipments arrive safely to its destination. The product, in competition with Amazon’s Locker program and Google’s Bufferbox, eliminates shipping lines and disgruntled packaging.

On the receiving end, online shoppers across all e-commerce platforms can use their local Swapbox address at checkout to pick up their package after hours. The user simply receives a notification that their package has arrived, and are prompted to pick them up at their requested location using a unique PIN. Swapbox users have 24 hours to pick up their package before they are prompted with new options; currently, it averages four hours from the user’s initial notification to their in-person pickup. The service eliminates missing deliveries for customers who cannot compete against work hours to be home for day time drop-offs.

Sensibly, Swapbox functions as a PO Box that exists across multiple, convenient locations. The startup, designed in San Francisco, has installed the lockers in scattered locations around the city including markets, laundromats, gas stations, 7-11s, and cafes.

Swapbox is surprisingly affordable, ranging from just $1.99 per delivery to $14.99 per month for unlimited deliveries. Each shipping option offers a test round for free and the value of anytime pick up.

Swapbox’s existence as an automated system marks the beginning trends of robotic retail.

Swapbox

[h/t] TechCrunch

technology
Trending

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Archie Lee Coates

Redefining Cities and Play

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.