Swiss Post is transforming the way it offers postal services to households in remote villages where there is no longer an economic justification for a postal office branch with the roll out of 100,000 SmartButtons that enable people to order postal services on demand by one click of a button.
The SmartButtons, which incorporate Semtech’s LoRa devices, run on batteries for at least 10 years, and do not need a SIM card as they operate on Swisscom’s network in Switzerland utilizing the LoRaWAN protocol.
To use the device, a customer places the SmartButton Reader directly on a product code icon on a printed list of codes associated with specific postal services like ordering parcel pickup, then presses a button to scan the code. A short beep confirms code recognition and a blue light flashes while transmitting the line item orders to the post office. The order is sent to a Swiss Post cloud server for processing, via a hidden built-in antenna and radio module within the scanner device itself that transmits the data. Within a few seconds, a green light indicates success, or a red light notifies the user to repeat the procedure. If ordered before 7:30am, a mail carrier will deliver the requested services on the same day; if ordered after, the carrier will come on the next delivery day.
After several pilots, it has been proven that the SmartButton is a convenient way to order services without using a smartphone or a computer. Hence, it is very easy to use for people who are not as familiar with smartphones and ordering products and services online, according to Swiss Post.