Simple school lockers, gym lockers, swimming pool lockers and office lockers have been used for decades to provide a secure space to create peace of mind for users. Thus, lockers have been a critical amenity provided in public and private spaces. Although traditional lockers have posed many issues for venue managers and users. There has been a need to improve the usability, security for the public, flexibility to meet demand, develop visibility over usage and creating monetisation capabilities.
That is where smart lockers have been able to innovate over the years, providing intuitive capabilities to a simple amenity. Through technology, smart lockers have upgraded traditional lockers in many ways and we’ve seen continuous innovation within the space.
Over the years, smart lockers have evolved to become smarter, to fit the needs of both venue owners and users of lockers. In particular, improving on the aspects that matter, including:
Smart Locker 1.0: Centralised Computer System allowing for Shared Use
A large electricity powered locker system operated through a centralised computer. First wave of public share lockers, able to be used without personal allocation of a key or code and monetised via cash. Users were still required to remember which locker they had used, through a physical receipt. As a public locker system, this created security issues as users were anonymous. Reliance on the central computer also caused issues, as all lockers become inaccessible if a problem occurs.
Smart Locker 2.0: Lock Innovation for Usability
Personalised to incorporate Swipe cards and QR codes, providing alternate ways to improve usability, over a plug in code. Paved the way for the first generation of Smart Office lockers, with swipe card access. QR codes provided a more modern user experience although it wasn’t as widely adopted pre-COVID. This system still requires fixed access electricity, and holds a large reliance on a central computer to connect all lockers (locker space needs to be designed with this specific locker system in mind). Swipe cards improve security purposes, although are not feasible in public settings and require physical management and distribution of key cards. Visibility has improved as tap actions can be counted to infer usage.
Smart Locker 3.0: Modular App-based Innovation
Decentralised Lockers with no central computer operated through an app that provides access to all lockers, on-demand. Highly flexible and modular as there is no need for electricity, no central computer reliance (less susceptible to system wide issues), thus able to add or reduce locker capacity based on demand and space. App-based opening of lockers, so no card, code, key, receipt and able to pay through cardless and cashless transactions. Managers App and data provides visibility over how lockers are used with support capabilities. Vastly improved security measures, with mobile phone and credit card verification. Customers need a smartphone to reserve locker, with the capability to set a 4-digit code and store their phone.
For Venue Owners: