French postal services just got smart with the Internet of Things

French postal services just got smart with the Internet of Things

The La Poste button bears similarities to Amazon's Dash

IoT connectivity company Sigfox has launched a pilot with French postal service Groupe La Poste, for a new service which allows businesses and individuals to order a series of postal services at the touch of a button.

Dubbed ‘Domino’, the programme offers push-button convenience to arrange pickup and delivery of packages through Sigfox’s Internet of Things (IoT) network. The firm claimed this would improve the efficiency of the services of La Poste.

The service was developed by the Digital and Services Mail Division in La Poste. It enables individuals to place any unpackaged object in their mailbox equipped with a Domino button and trigger the full support of the plot by La Poste. This includes collecting, boxing, packaging and shipping.

Sigfox said the service is “cost effective and easy to integrate” and would enable companies wherever the network is available to implement their IoT solutions widely and inexpensively, which enables them to deliver new services for their clients

The network, which is operational or is being deployed in 12 countries, covers 80 percent of France and its territories and 91 percent of the population.

The service uses Sigfox’s low-power wide-area (LPWA) technology. It can transmit requests over long distances at very low cost. The transmission power is equivalent to what a portable remote control would require.

“Our collaboration with Groupe La Poste is another great example of the IoT’s huge potential for value creation through innovative new services,” said Stuart Lodge, Sigfox executive vice president global sales and partners.

“Sigfox is bringing this potential to a rapidly growing base of companies internationally with the assurance of consistent quality of service and very low energy consumption by connected objects.”

The pilot program will operate regionally during the first half of 2016. La Poste also plans to involve the button connected with other uses and postal services.

Carsten Brinkschulte, serial entrepreneur and currently CEO of Core Network Dynamics, a spin-off from the German research institute Fraunhofer FOKUS, told Internet of Business that “this could work in the UK and anywhere in the world where there is a Sigfox network operator. However, as far as I am aware there currently is no Sigfox network in the UK, yet.”

This was confirmed by Anthony Charbonnier at Sigfox, who told Internet of Business that “the object is made by the French postal service, so I doubt so. But the Sigfox network is already live in UK”.