Connected Parcel Deliveries with Pelipod
With the relentless growth in online sales millions of parcels will be delivered; with couriers struggling to deliver as people are out of their homes, Pelipod is well positioned to alleviate the burden of parcel logistics for both consumers and couriers. Read about the interesting outcome of Eseye delivering product development consultancy and managed AnyNet connectivity to Pelipod.
Up to 10% of parcels are not delivered first time
Pelipod solves the problem of having to wait at home in order to receive or return parcels. Working with Eseye, a product was designed which is both secure, and easy to use for customer and courier alike. It is estimated that up to 10% of parcels are not delivered on the first attempt.
For the consumer the product needed to be easily accessible, and capable of storing multiple parcels. Whilst locker boxes are available in some areas, these are often in inconvenient locations, and can only be accessed at set hours. It also needed to be extremely secure, a challenge when multiple couriers might need access to it. Of equal importance was that the product needed to be easy for couriers to use and not require extensive training while meeting the need for a “confirmation of delivery”.
Understanding project needs, budgets and timeframe is crucial
Eseye worked with Pelipod to understand its needs, budgets and timeframe. Eseye’s expertise and input enabled Pelipod to offer a product which represented good value for money. Research suggested that £9.99 per month is a relatively small price to pay compared with the time and inconvenience of waiting for a delivery to be made or having to go to a delivery/collection point.
A Proof of Concept (PoC) was produced to show evidence of how a technical solution would work, without Pelipod having to commit to the entire research and development process. Not only did this allow for a smaller initial outlay for Pelipod, it also allowed them to show investors that their product was viable.
IoT gives connectivity, security and functionality
Connectivity is at the heart of the functionality and security of the Pelipod. In order to increase security, each delivery or collection is assigned a code, which allows one-time access to the Pelipod. A 2-way messaging system allows for the communication of these secure codes to the Pelipod.
This code can be given to the courier by including it within the delivery or collection address. In addition, when a parcel is delivered or collected, an email is sent to the owner, and a photo taken, which acts as signature for confirmation of delivery. The owner can access a list of transactions and authorised users via a portal, accessible by both desktop and mobile.
The Pelipod undertakes daily “health” checks of the key circuitry to ensure that everything is working properly, and notifies the central system if there is a problem. The connectivity also helps with regard to theft prevention. If the Pelipod is moved, it can be ‘remotely locked’, meaning it cannot be opened, and its location can be tracked by using a well-established phone networks, the connection is more secure. It also means that there is no need for the Pelipod to be connected to a customer’s Wi-Fi or landline telephone.
The Pelipod does not require connection to mains electricity, as it is battery operated. This necessitated minimising the power consumption of the Pelipod, which Eseye were well placed to achieve, having great experience of working on similar projects.
It’s been exciting being part of Pelipod’s journey. Like many of the projects Eseye has undertaken, the Pelipod project has been both interesting and challenging. It’s great to see how applying IoT expertise helped realize Pelipod’s vision solve a growing consumer need.
Jon Darley, Technical Director, Eseye
Proof of concept delivered in one month
Eseye’s deep experience in product design, hardware and cellular disciplines helped it to produce the proof of concept within a month, and was also of use in tackling the technical challenges associated with the project, such as the need to minimise power consumption, in order that the Pelipod could be battery powered. The power consumption was lowered by 50%, meaning that the batteries only need changing every 12 months.
Pelipod uses an AnyNet SIM which gives the highest in-country network cover and enables them to leverage Eseye’s experience in managing cellular networks and providing quick support for queries arising.
Eseye’s experience has helped save several months in getting the product to market and Eseye’s ability to ensure continuous supply of critical connectivity necessary for the Pelipod to function because the availability of the cellular network means that the codes and messages can be sent and received from the pods.
We have been very impressed with Eseye’s knowledge of the technology as a whole, but also because of the work they had done, specifically on the M-Kopa product. The team got the Pelipod concept straight away and have been great to work with since. We are delighted with the results.
Karl Wills MD, Pelipod