Swiss Post transforms postal services with SmartButton devices

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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.

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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