Agora kiosks e1543999246321

City kiosks get smart in Finland

Pick up your prescription after the chemist closes, or return a book before the library even opens. Technology company Agora Networks says it’s working on making that vision a reality with around 200 unmanned, outdoor kiosks set to be installed in cities across its native Finland by the end of next year.

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Agora Networks says the kiosks, which also act as pick-up and drop-off points for items such as online shopping deliveries and second-hand goods, will offer consumers a reduced rate for parcel deliveries and returns because of additional income streams such as advertising.

The unmanned kiosks are based on lifting equipment firm Konecranes’ Agilon handling technology, with digital displays for advertising from Kajaani-based digital signage company Symbicon.

Agora Networks CEO, Jukka Lempiäinen, told PlaceTech: “Customers may order parcels [for delivery] to Agora kiosks from online shopping companies. At the moment, we are collaborating with PostNord, which offers the possibility to online shopping companies or directly to consumers. We are also negotiating with other international couriers.”

Lempiäinen adds the service could be extended to cover amenities such as pharmacies and libraries when there is enough demand for these services.

The outdoor network can also operate as a base for air quality measurement equipment, WiFi or 5G. The first Agora kiosk was installed at the PostNord terminal in Vantaa in May, and construction of the network began in Helsinki where a kiosk was set up in November.

And while Lempiäinen wouldn’t say specifically which countries were next on the company’s wishlist, he did say Agora Networks expects to roll out the concept internationally next year.

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