meldCX unveils Concept SALi (Smart Automated Lodgement API)

Self-Service Kiosk uses AI & Machine Learning to transform lodgement and parcel delivery for Australia Post

New York, 12 January 2020meldCX will unveil concept SALi, short for Smart Automated Lodgement API, at NRF 2020. SALi is a self-service kiosk solution for postal service and delivery, enhanced with AI capabilities from Intel. Designed by meldCX and built on AOPEN commercial hardware, the kiosk is currently being evaluated by major parcel delivery organisations such as Australia Post.

Concept SALi has been commissioned by Australia Post, Australia’s government-owned postal service. The aim is to reduce friction in the parcel-handling process, empowering customers with greater access to self-service solutions when they ship parcels – while also freeing up staff to attend to more customers. 

SALi kiosks use powerful machine learning and computer vision technology to scan and detect each parcel, verifying its size, weight, handwritten information, the sender’s identity, and shipping cost automatically. This would help take the guesswork, manual entry and complexity out of shipping a parcel for customers and front of house staff. 

The project brings together leaders in IoT technology: meldCX as a platform and solution provider, AOPEN commercial devices, Google Cloud Platform, and Intel edge AI technologies. It holds significant benefits for customers and businesses alike, as meldCX CEO & Co-Founder Stephen Borg explains:

“With an increasingly connected world and the rise of e-commerce, consumer preferences have moved more and more towards parcel delivery, both domestic and international. This has spurred a steep increase in activity for delivery services all around the world, with added pressures for them to deliver and respond to this market demand. meldCX’s Concept SALi automates the complex process, allowing delivery services to deliver more efficient customer service and provide a brand point-of-presence for its customers.”

The objectives of the project are:

  • Easy customer experience with parcel delivery lodged in less than 2 minutes
  • Queuing time reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes in peak times
  • More accurate address recognition
  • Elimination of paper forms
  • Insight into customer behaviour through automatically gathered data analytics

David McNamara, General Manager Post Office Network, Australia Post says the kiosks aim to help transform customer experience:

“Australia Post delivers more than 3.3 billion items to more than 12 million addresses nationwide, hosts 230 million customer visits – both business and consumer – into our post offices each year and continues to see growth in parcel volumes with more than 73% of Australian households shopping online. 

“We want to keep delivering outstanding customer experiences to support this growth which is why innovative, intelligent technology like Concept SALi makes it much easier and faster for customers to lodge parcels, and provides more features that customers want, such as bulk lodgement,” said Mr McNamara.

The solution includes a combination of Intel technologies to power and advance AI algorithms, including Intel Core i5 processors, Intel RealSense Depth Camera D435 for powerful image processing and depth perception, Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 for added performance boost, and the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit for AI optimization and deployment. 

“Designed by meldCX and built on AOPEN commercial hardware, SALi kiosks use Intel technology to perform powerful machine learning and computer vision processes for parcel detection. Everything is managed from a single pane of glass, which allows for quick diagnosis of issues on both hardware and software levels,” Mr Borg of meldCX says.

 

About the Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post)

Since the founding of the first post office in New South Wales in 1809, Australia Post has expanded delivery to more than 12 million addresses across Australia and to more than 190 countries around the world. Almost two thirds of its 4,400-plus outlets are privately owned and operate as licensed post offices. There are also 762 community postal agencies. One of the country’s most trusted brands, The Australian Postal Corporation, also comprising StarTrack, Decipha, SecurePay, and POLi, competes in the global parcels and eCommerce services markets. Headquartered in Melbourne with offices and facilities across the country, more than 50,000 people are involved in Australian Post operations, including more than 34,000 employees in its integrated delivery, logistics, retail and eCommerce network.