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Rental Parcel Lockers

We have reached a major milestone in our journey!

About a year ago, we embarked on a new project, a project to modernize a small and often sidelined industry - the luggage/parcel storage industry. In Zimbabwe, a few people may know about the cloakrooms that are usually found in major bus termini like "Mbare Musika" Bus Terminus in Harare and "Renkini" in Bulawayo.
In these rooms, there are old storage shelves where bags are piled, poorly organized and poorly monitored. Theft and lost bags are a daily routine.

Other countries, mostly developed ones have long adopted a much better way of storing luggage – they now use self-service parcel lockers, which are usually electronic but mechanical ones exist too, which use the traditional lock and key. Self-service lockers are extremely efficient and convenient as they are usually timed, allowing users to rent the lockers for a specific period of time and are available normally 24 hours a day.

Our project has been to develop our own self-service lockers that can be deployed in all public places where people are likely to need them, primarily at bus termini – Mbare, Market Square, Copacabana, and Road Port etc. These lockers are electronic, enabling integration of mobile money payment solutions like #Ecocash and #Telecash. They are also designed to accept the Bond Coins that are currently in use here in Zimbabwe.

The lockers are very affordable, with rental prices starting from $0.50 per hour per box, depending on size of box and location. The lockers are safe and secure, employing biometric fingerprint technology for locking the boxes and a flashed locker design to prevent tempering i.e. no exposed hinges, pick proof and non-exposed lock. With these lockers, there’s no problem of people losing keys, receipts or pin-codes as all they need is their finger.

Locker Prototype

Our lockers are highly customizable to meet different needs and use cases. They can be used as private lockers in schools, gyms, office buildings, sports clubs, hospitals etc. They can also be used as modern self-service parcel lockers in shops where customers can leave their bags in the locker when entering a shop. The use cases are pretty abundant and one of our favorite use cases is in logistics where the lockers can be used as delivery lockers for e-commerce (check out Amazon delivery lockers) and laundry lockers (for pick up and drop off of laundry).

We are really excited about this project and now are even furthering the development of the lockers by introducing artificial intelligence to make them really smart. We are now incorporating facial recognition in the lockers so that when a person uses the locker, they won’t even need to enroll a fingerprint, as the locker will be able to identify them by their face.

Interested in learning more about the project or contributing, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact form and we will be more than happy to talk to you. You can view and test the prototype locker for yourself at Batanai Mall in Harare. 
The video below shows a demo of the locker at our workshop. 

About The Author

Rational Ear

Software Engineer at Zimall Online

@rational_ear - E-Commerce Consultant, Software Engineer and Entrepreneur. #PastPresident #Rotaractor #Rotarian #Rational

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