This brief required a new design proposal for a multifunctional Automatic Post Machine. The machine would be collocated with Australia Post Stores and help take the load off counter staff. Therefore the machine had to be capable of performing all the functions of the store in an automated, user guided fashion. Before the ideation process even began a large amount of research went into existing ATMs, Train Ticket machines and Post-box design/user interaction. A lot of anthropometric data and user profiles were investigated before the first sketch ideas were laid out.
The final design was a wall mounted ’booth’ like unit which allowed the user to send domestic & international letters/satchels/packages of all sizes and weights. The user could also use the APM as a drop box for Australia Post’s Courier Service. Auxiliary functions of the machine included: purchasing of consumables (stamps, envelopes, POSTpak satchels, bags and boxes [the biggest parcel box available was the POSTpak BT/A3 430x305x140mm mailing box- it was dispensed by the machine in folded form]), POSTbillpay, Bank@POST, mail redirection and article tracking.
To allow for these functions the machine was fitted out with: an OLED touch screen, physical desktop with printed rulers/parcel sizes and weight scale, projection barcode scanner, ink writing pen, electronic stylus pen, envelope/satchel/parcel dispense slots, card readers, electric roller shutter parcel bins, auto-adjust input letter apertures, paper waste bins, postage label printers and error sticker, sticky tape and bubble wrap dispensers. Cash, coin and receipt slots were also integrated. Most of these components either needed their deposited mail cleared or their consumables replenished every so often. As a result the APM was designed with a service/replenishment housing room connected at rear (within the store).