This startup is building a smart kiosk ecosystem to automate the retail stores of the country
“I startedfor students to access and learn new technology. The education system usually does not include hands-on experience on new tech solutions, and the best way to do that is by allowing students as interns to design and build world-class products using state of the art technology,” says Akhil Mohan, Founder at InstantPost who is building an advanced tech product called AutoMagic.
As a tech enthusiast, Akhil’s motivation to start InstantPost was to make it easy to build any kind of hardware product and AutoMagic is a manifestation of that. AutoMagic is a smart kiosk for automating retail stores with a contactless self-checkout experience in smart cities. InstantPost’s large-format 3D Printers allow you to 3D print Lego-like bricks, put them together, and establish any kind of 24x7 Self Checkout Retail Experience to make convenience stores more convenient.
“Our smart kiosk is divided into multiple decks to improve a customer’s overall shopping experience. Each one of them can do different functions,” shares Akhil.
What it entails
In a first-of-its-kind innovation, AutoMagic is built with 3D printed Lego-like bricks made up of Biodegradable food-grade plastic that can take a hit with a metal hammer and still be easily decomposed within months using an industrial setup. Explaining the setup, Akhil says, “The kiosk is built of five decks. The top deck is the interaction deck which acts as the brain of the setup. The second one is the printing deck which can receive orders and gives out prints. The dispensing deck allows to pick up items (FMCG) and can be scaled up, by deploying an array of smart kiosks. The power bank deck allows customers to swap out charged power banks. The storage deck offers on-demand storage in campuses like apartments, schools, and offices..” New decks can be designed and deployed on-demand to enable new functions.
The kiosk setup is such that it can also accept currency notes and coins. “When a customer walks into a retail store, they generally have to interact with someone over the counter. A retail store with these smart kiosks will reduce physical contact and enable tech-connect and avail services in just three steps - Authenticate, grab and go!” he says
“The product is still at the launch stage. We plan to roll this out on campus for students to explore this kind of technology. We managed a few test runs before the pandemic hit. However, we were affected when the entire education system shut down due to COVID. In the meantime, we have been working on upgrading the kiosk,” adds Akhil.
One of the biggest challenges in building the product was to simplify the technology. “We had to make sure that the retail setups do not have to hire separate tech talent to operate these,” he says.
“What makes this different is that the entire tech stack from software to hardware is built by a team of interns and that really helped us build a simple and easy-to-use product with one of the best feature sets the technology has to offer today.,” says Akhil.
Maximising the reach
“We want to make the availability of our product easy and it should reach a wide number of Indian retailers as well as tech enthusiasts. I believe the only way to reach a greater number of Indian audience is through a . in domain,” shares Akhil.
The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is a platform for upcoming online businesses to get their website registered with a .in or .bharat domain. Along with the name of your choice, NIXI helps you get the website at an affordable cost. Moreover, for businesses across the country, the domain name can be availed in 22 languages through Nixi.
Sharing his vision for the next 3-5 years, Akhil says, “We want to be available in all of the universities across the country as well as we want to pitch our smart kiosk to automate the fair price shops in the public distribution system. It will help the government to track the ration distribution so that the right quantity reaches the right person. Enabling the kiosk will solve the existing problems and inefficiencies in the current system.”
The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.