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Title:
COMPUTER-IMPLEMENTED METHOD FOR OPERATING A SYSTEM FOR ALLOCATION OF PARCELS AND A USE HEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/161871
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a computer-implemented method for operating a system for allocation of parcels to one or more service points, comprising the acts of receiving electronic tokens using a first communication standard, and transmitting electronic tokens using a second communication standard enabling a communication direction. A method, wherein the communicated data may be communicated to or from a service point and/or a server using an application program adapted to be executed using a mobile smart device. The invention relates to the use of the method in a parcel allocation system.

Inventors:
DEUTSCH, Miriam Bartholdy (Havbo 10, 6470 Sydals, 6470, DK)
KACZMAREK, Allan (Vandmøllevej 12, 6400 Sønderborg, 6400, DK)
Application Number:
DK2019/050069
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 22, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SWIPBOX A/S (Ellegårdvej 7, 6400 Sønderborg, 6400, DK)
International Classes:
A47G29/14; G06Q50/28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRADE A/S (Ceresbyen 75, 8000 Aarhus C, 8000, DK)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Computer-implemented method (100) for operating a system for allocation of par cels (40) to one or more service points (20) comprising acts of:

- receiving (102) electronic tokens (10) using one communication standard (170); - transmitting (108) electronic tokens (10) using another communication standard

(170), and

- enabling (110) a communication direction (160),

which communication standards (170) are a communication standard of a data trans mission supporting mobile communication system (182), and a communication stand- ard of a wireless personal area network ( 184), wherein

in a communication direction (160) being a service point communication direction (162) the electronic tokens (10) are received using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system (182), and transmitted using the communication standard of a wireless personal area network (184); and in a communication direction (160) being a server communication direction (164) the electronic tokens are received using

the communication standard of a wireless personal area network (184), and transmit- ted using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile com munication system (182) said electronic tokens (10) include user electronic tokens (50), synchronization elec tronic tokens (60) and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens (70), and

the receiver and transmitter of a user electronic token (50) is a singled out node (12) communicating in a service point communication direction (162), the receiver and transmitter of a synchronization electronic token (60) is any one of multiple distribut ed nodes (12) communicating in a server communication direction (164) and the re ceiver and transmitter of an acknowledgement electronic token (70) is any one of mul- triple distributed nodes (12) communicating in a service point communication direction (162).

2. Computer-implemented method (100), according to claim 1, comprising acts of: receiving (102) and transmitting (108) a user electronic token (50) associated to a parcel (40) in a service point communication direction (162), which user electronic token (50) is tagged with a service point ID (24) and comprises a piece ID (42) and instruction (52) of a user event (54) to be performed; and - receiving (102) a beacon signal (22) in a server communication direction (164) comprising a matching service point ID (24), wherein

the user electronic token (50) is a deliver}' electronic token (50A), when the instruc tion (52) is a parcel delivery (44), and

the user electronic token (50) is a pick-up electronic token (SOB), when the instruction (52) is a parcel pick-up (46).

3. Computer-implemented method (100), according to any of the preceding claims, comprising further acts of:

- receiving (102) and transmitting (108) synchronization electronic token(s) (60), comprising a sequence number (58) and the piece ED (42) in the server communica tion direction (164).

4. Computer-implemented method (100), according to any of the preceding claims, comprising a further act of displaying (104) parcel information (48) associated with a user electronic token (50).

5. Computer-implemented method (100), according to any of the preceding claims, comprising further acts of:

- displaying (104) a courier route (82), comprising sendee points associated with the sendee point ID (24) of the received user electronic tokens (50).

6. Mobile smart device (90) comprising means for carrying out the method of any of the preceding claims 1-5. 7. User application (190) comprising instructions, which when the program (190) is executed by a computer, cause the computer to carry out the method (100) of any of the preceding claims 1-5. 8 User application (190), according to claim 7, configured as a software development kit (196).

9. Computer-readable medium (198) comprising instructions which, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to earn,' out the method (100) of any of the preced- ing claims 1-5.

10. Use (300) of a computer-implemented method, according to any one of claims 1 -5, which use is for a parcel allocation system (400) comprising a server (30), one or more sendee points (20) and one or more user applications (190), according to any one of claim 7-8.

Description:

The present invention relates to a computer-implemented method for operating a sys tem for allocation of parcels to one or more service points, comprising the acts of re ceiving electronic tokens using a first communication standard, and transmitting elec tronic tokens using a second communication standard enabling a communication di~ rection. A method, wherein the communicated data may be communicated to or from a sendee point and/or a server using an application program adapted to be executed using a mobile smart device. The invention relates to the use of the method in a parcel allocation system.

Background of the Invention

The distribution and allocation of parcels typically involves multiple partners in the process from the time the consignor or consignee/receiver of the parcel orders a parcel delivery until the consignee receives the parcel. The involved partners may include multiple couriers, postal or logistics providers. In addition; the process may include multiple acts of handling the parcel. This may include acts of transporting, receiving, delivering or handing out the parcel, and storing the parcel.

In general, the distribution and allocation of parcels is continuously being optimized to include lower storage time and less manual handling.

Especially the distribution and allocation of parcels on an ad hoc basis, where the con- signor and consignee do not have regular or large shipments, e.g. weekly or daily de liver} ' of large shipments from company to company, is generally changing to include an assigned pick-up place or sendee point, where the consignee can pick up the parcel within a given time interval.

The number of sendeed postal offices for handing out parcels is decreasing and the serviced postal offices are being replaced by self-service parcel lockers. The self- service parcel lockers may have a lower storage capacity than the postal offices but may be distributed more broadly to generate more delivery and/or pick-up places.

Today, parcel lockers typically communicate directly with a server using systems for mobile telecommunication, such as GSM, UTMS or comparable systems. The systems may use WLAN, wireless access points or hard-wired connections to the internet. Fur thermore, the parcel lockers today typically comprise a display and an input unit, which may be a key pad, a scanner or a touch screen to display information and/or guide the user of the delivery or pick-up event, which often includes entering a code for the parcel delivery or parcel pick-up event.

The operation of the parcel lockers is dependent on a continuous and stable operated mobile telecommunication system and/or internet connection, and thus, the location of the parcel lockers should be chosen accordingly.

Furthermore, the parcel lockers are typically installed with a hard wired power con nection to provide sufficient power to the operation of the parcel locker, to power the display and/or the input units, as well as the data communication. This further incites the user to choose the location of the parcel lockers accordingly. Furthermore, as the parcel lockers are typically electronically operated, a continuous and stable power supply is required.

This may present obstacles in regard to achieving an even and fine distribution mesh of parcel lockers, where the parcel lockers can be placed as freely as possible in any location and in a fast yet reliable manner, even though there may exist unstable infra structure with poor mobile telecommunication systems, internet connections and/or unstable power supply.

US 20120130916 Al discloses a method for operating parcel lockers and an associat- ed system comprising several parcel lockers (nodes), several users and user groups, and a server (central system/back-end system). The method is a computer- implemented method for allocating compartments in the parcel lockers and communi cating about the status of the compartments. The disclosed method includes the use of a mobile unit to communicate with the par cel locker) and an external server respectively. The communication between the parcel locker and the mobile unit can be performed using Bluetooth or similar connections. The communication between the server and the mobile device can be performed using a wireless data connection.

The method includes a simultaneous communication between the server and the parcel locker with information regarding reservation of a room and the user's information. This simultaneous communication is performed to achieve that the server is updated, and that the parcel lockers are operated in a sufficiently securely manner.

It is an objective to overcome one or more of the before mentioned shortcomings of the prior art.

An object of the invention may be achieved by a computer-implemented method for operating a system for allocation of parcels to one or more sendee points. The com puter-implemented method may comprise acts of receiving electronic tokens using one communication standard, and transmitting electronic tokens using another com munication standard. The method may further comprise an act of enabling a commu nication direction. The communication standards may be a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system and a communication standard of a wdreless personal area network.

One communication direction may be a sendee point communication direction, where the electronic tokens may be received using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system and transmited using the communication standard of a wdreless personal area network.

Another communication direction may be a server communication direction, where the electronic tokens may be received using the communication standard of a wdreless personal area network and transmitted using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system.

The electronic tokens may include user electronic tokens, synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens.

The receiver and transmitter of a user electronic token may be a singled out node communicating in a service point communication direction. The receiver and transmit ter of a synchronization electronic token may be any one of multiple distributed nodes communicating in a server communication direction. The receiver and transmitter of an acknowledgement electronic token may be any one of multiple distributed nodes communicating in a service point communication direction.

The computer-implemented method for operating a syste for allocation of parcels to one or more service points may in the following be referred to as a computer- implemented method for allocation of parcels to one or more sendee points.

Alternatively, an object of the invention may be achieved by a computer- implemented method for allocation of parcels to one or more service points compris- ing acts of receiving electronic tokens using a first communication standard, and transmitting electronic tokens, using a second communication standard enabling a communication direction. A method wherein the first communication standard is a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system, and the second communication standard is a communication standard of a wireless personal area network in a communication direction being a service point communication direction, and the first communication standard is a communication standard of a wireless personal area network, and the second communication standard is a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system in a communication direction being a server communication direction.

In the following, electronic token may be referred to as e-token. An electronic token is used for a content of data which may be comprised in a single file. The node may be a device e.g a mobile smart device. The node may be one out of a distributed network of nodes e.g. a distributed network of mobile smart devices.

The electronic tokens may include user electronic tokens, synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens.

Each user electronic token may be piggybacked by a singled out node e.g. a specific mobile smart device of a distributed network of mobile smart devices. For each user electronic token, multiple synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens may he received and transmitted by one or more nodes of the distributed network e.g. one or more mobile smart devices of a distribut ed network of mobile smart device. The multiple synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens for each user electronic token may be identical copies. Hence the multiple syn chronization electronic tokens may he identical and the acknowledgement electronic tokens may be identical.

The method may be referred to that the user electronic token is communicated via point-to-point connections using a preferred path whereas the synchronization and acknowledgement tokens may he communicated also via point-to-point connec tion but using distributed paths laid out by the distributed network of nodes. The communication of the synchronization and acknowledgement tokens may be comparable to‘Round Robin’ -distribution versus‘preferred path’-distribution of the user electronic tokens, however without using a determined order, but instead using a ‘preferred path’ for the user e-token and one or more‘arbitrary paths’ for the synchro nization and acknowledgement tokens.

One effect of this embodiment may be to eliminate a direct communication between two devices, thereby the data may he carried by intermediate means - the data is pig gybacked by an intermediate device. This device may not access the content of the e- token, which may have the advantage that the data is not shared with any third party. Furthermore, the intermediate device carried may not use means for executing any content of the e-token. This may be advantageous in regard to obtaining a method for parcel allocation with a high security level against misuse and/or hacking.

Another effect of this method is that e-tokens may be communicated from one device to another device where only the communication standard is changed and not the con tent of the e-token, hence, the method performs a signal transformation. This may be advantageous in regard to eliminating the need for internet coverage at the location of the sendee point, while achieving a broad coverage for the further communication from the intermediate device via the mobile communication system.

For wireless personal area networks (WPAN) especially two kinds of wireless technologies are used today: Bluetooth and near field communication (NFC) A key concept in WPAN technology is the concept of plugging in, which may en sure that, when any two WPAN-equipped devices come into close proximity' (within several meters of each other) they may communicate as if connected by a cable. Another important feature is the ability of each device to lock out other de vices selectively, preventing unnecessary interference or unauthorized access to information.

Especially the Bluetooth standard may transfer data relatively fast with low power consumption. In addition, the quiescent current is very low . Furthermore, a Bluetooth communication unit is a very common unit in mobile smart devices, where the unit may have a communication range from a few meters and beyond. For this embodi ment the Bluetooth standard or other communication standards for WPAN with the same characteristics of low power consumption and a limited communication range may be used. Furthermore, the communication standard may generally be widely used and implemented in mobile smart devices. This has the advantage of easy access to implementation and use of the method.

Thus, a further effect of the method, by using a WPAN connection, may be that the communication with the sendee point is low power consuming communication, this being advantageous in regard to reducing the power consumption by the sendee point. In a further embodiment, the computer-implemented method may comprise the acts of receiving and transmitting a user e-token associated to a parcel in a service point communication direction, which user e-token is tagged with a service point ID and comprises a piece ID and instructions of a user event to be performed, and receiving a beacon signal in a server communication direction comprising a matching service point ID. A method wherein the user e-token is a delivery e-token when the instruc tion is a parcel deliver} ' , and the user e-token is a pick-up e-token when the instruction is a parcel pick-up.

The beacon signal may be transmitted from a service point having a service point ID. The service point may comprise a parcel locker comprising one or more compart ments. The service point may be the point for collection and delivery of parcels be tween two parties. The service point may provide storage time for the parcel.

In one aspect, the one or more compartments of the parcel locker may be reach- through compartments having two doors. The two doors may be a front-end door and a back-end door, respectively. Each of the front-end door and the back-end door may ¬ be provided with a mechanical lock. One effect of having compartments with front- end and back-end doors may be that the parcel locker can be loaded accordingly, which may be advantageous in regard to loading and/or unloading from a restricted access area to a public access area.

In one aspect the parcel locker may comprise one or more doors. Each door may be selected from a group consisting of a sliding door, roll-up door, folding door, accordi- on door, gate and cabinet door. The door may have any size. The size may be a size generally referred to as port or gate sizes, typically measured in meters and/or decime tres, and down to sizes generally referred to as cabinet or locker door sizes, typically measured in decimetres and/or centimetres. One effect of this embodiment may be to customize the parcel locker to the types and sizes of parcel being handled. In one case the parcels may be of a size and/or weight requiring benefitting from an easy access at floor level. In another case, the parcels may be handled by fork lifts for reduce the workload of the consignor and/or the consignee and thus, the size of the doors should accommodate for that. Alternatively, the parcel locker may be customized to the surrounding conditions ex isting at the location of the parcel locker. In one case the parcel locker may be ex- posed for a windy environment. In such case and in combination with large size com partments, a folding or sliding door may be advantageous instead of a hinged type solid door to reduce mechanical wear and tear.

The service point ID and/or the piece ID may be global unique identifiers (GUID). In one aspect, the sendee point ID may be a GUID of a service point to be used for de livery and/or pick-up of a parcel The method may provide for a distributed architecture for allocation of parcels, adapted to a system wherein the parcels are allocated by a courier service provider from a consignor to a sendee point, from a sendee point to a consignee and/or from one sendee point to another sendee point. A parcel pick-up refers to when the parcel is to be collected or picked up by a holder of the user e-token at a sendee point. In this case, the user e-token is a pick-up token.

A parcel delivery refers to when the parcel is to be delivered by the holder of the user e-token at a service point. In this case the user e-token is a delivery token.

One effect of this embodiment is that the user e-token may carry all the information and instructions regarding the parcel for the consignee or the consignor of the parcel. Thus, only a single holder of the data and a single communication connection is re quired between the connection points. The connection points may be a first and a sec- ond sendee point, a server and a sendee point, and the holder may be parcel con signors, parcel consignees, couriers, maintenance professionals or comparable user groups and/or service groups of a parcel allocation system. This is not an exhaustive list and may only serve as examples. A further effect of the method may be that - due to the character of the instructions and user events comprising delivery or pick-up of a physical parcel - the parcel con signee/consignor is physically present at the service point for delivering or picking up the parcel to transfer the e-token. This may be advantageous in regard to using a single communication connection between the sendee point and the parcel consign- ee/consignor. It may further be advantageous in regard to transmiting a limited da taset due to the character of the user e-token. A further advantage may be that only a limited communication range is required. This may lead to the use of a data communication standard with low power consump tion, e.g Bluetooth communication.

The sendee point ID comprised in the beacon signal and the service point ID tag of the user e-token may have the effect that only a WPAN connection is established for transfer of a user e-token with a matching service point ID to a send ee point.

The Bluetooth standard may transfer data relatively fast with low power consumption. In addition, the quiescent current is very low. A Bluetooth communication unit is presently a very common unit in mobile smart devices, where the unit may have a communication range from 10 meters and longer. Other communication standards with the same characteristics of low' power consumption and a limited communication range may be used. Furthermore, the communication standard may generally be wide ly used and implemented in mobile smart devices. This has the advantage of easy ac cess to implementation and use of the method

A further effect of this embodiment, when used in a distributed architecture for alloca tion of parcels, is that the service point only needs to communicate with the holder of the user e-token at the service point location or in close vicinity hereof. This may be advantageous in regard to lower requirements to the quality of the communication connection between the service point and the holder of the e-token, and thus, may eliminate the need for mobile communication and/or internet coverage at the location of the service point. Furthermore, using a low power consumption communication standard may be advantageous in regard to a low power consumption of the sendee point which may aid for a battery ' operated sendee point, rendering other power supply- redundant e.g. eliminating the need for a connection to an external power supply network.

In one aspect, the e-token may be further transmitted from one holder to another. Hereby, it may be achieved that the receiver of the e-token may transfer the e-token to a trusted person to perform the actual collection or delivery of the parcel, instead of the recipient himself.

In one aspect, the invention may be achieved by the computer-implemented method, wherein the user e-token is encrypted with a service point encryption key associated with the service point of the comprised service point ID

An effect of this further embodiment may be that the encryption key is not transmitted to and/or from the service point, which mitigates any risk of hacking the service point or the e-tokens. A further advantage is that in case one encryption key may be decoded, only a single sendee point may be affected.

In a further embodiment, the computer-implemented method may comprise the further acts of receiving and transmitting synchronization electronic token(s), comprising a sequence number and the piece ID in the server communication direction.

In one aspect, a sequence number may be generated at the service point. The sequence numbers may be local identifiers for each service point, which numbers may be se quential numbers associated to a sequentially performed instruction of a user event comprised in the received user e-tokens. In a further aspect, the sequence numbers may be stored by the single sendee points.

Alternatively the sequence numbers may be local identifiers for each piece ID, which numbers may be sequential numbers associated to the sequentially performed user events in connection with that piece ID.

One effect of this embodiment may be that each service point returns information about when a user e-token has been used and with sufficient information to provide for the sendee points status, such that this information may be synchronized by the receiver of the synchronization e-token, thereby keeping an updated status of one or more service points by a central server. This may further strengthen the use of the method in a distributed architecture for allocation of parcels, where the server may be updated continuously with the status of each connected service points, for optimal use of the service points’ capacity. One advantage of this embodiment is that the method may provide for transmitting the synchronization e-token immediately, or carry the synchronization e-token until a proper communication connection to the sewer may be established. Thus, the method provides for piggybacking of the synchroni zation e- token from the service point to the sewer.

In one aspect, the performed instructions may be numbered with sequential numbers for each service point and stored by that service point, the sequential numbers being the sequence numbers. Alternatively, the sequence number may be connected with a single piece ID.

In a further aspect, the transmitted e-tokens may comprise a row of consecutive events and the associated numbers for the associated service point.

This may be advantageous in regard to ensuring that the sewer is updated with any performed instructions, such that the sewer has information of the one or more sendee points’ present status. Using sequence numbers may ensure that all events are actually received by the sewer.

A consequence of piggybacking may be that a synchronization e-token to be commu- nicated to the server may not reach the server at all, or may reach the server long after the event has been performed. By enclosing a number of consecutively performed events and the associated numbers in each synchronization e-token, the later generated e-tokens to be received by the server may compensate for a lost or late-received syn chronization e-token.

Due to the use of a WPAN, a selected communication with the service point having the service point ID of the user e-token may be established, which prevents un necessary interference or unauthorized access to information. When the WPAN connection is established, a synchronization e-token may be transferred from the service point in the server communication direction. Hence, a synchronization e- token may only be transmitted once access is obtained by possession of a user e- token. As previously described, this limited access for communication provides for a robust method for parcel allocation with a high security level against misuse and/or hacking. In one aspect, the synchronization e-token may not need to be tagged with a ser vice point ID, due to the limited access to communication described above. An other reason is the use of the piece ID to be comprised in the synchronization e- token, which may be a GXJID of the system implementing the method.

Thus, one effect of the transmitted beacon signal comprising the service point ID may be that a user application carrying a user e-token, tagged with a matching service point ID may establish a WPAN communication with the sendee point. This may have the further advantage that the synchronization e-token may be received immediately from the service point and may be passed on immediately after receipt or carried until a proper mobile communication connection for transmission may be established. Thus, the method piggybacks the synchronization e-token in the server communication di rection. In a further embodiment, the computer-implemented method may comprise further acts of receiving and transmitting acknowledgement e-token(s) in the sendee point com m uni cati on direct! on .

The acknowledgement e-token may be sent as a verification of a received synchroni- zation e-token.

Similar to the user and/or synchronization e-tokens, the acknowledgement e-token may be transferred when a WPAN connection is established to the sendee point. The acknowledgment e-token is, contrary to the synchronization e-token, trans- rnitted in the service point communication direction to the service point. Hence, the acknowledgment e-token may only be transmitted once access is obtained by possession of a user e-token. As previously described, this limited access for communication provides for a robust method for parcel allocation with a high se curity ' level against misuse and/or hacking.

In one aspect, the acknowledgment e-token may not need to be tagged with a ser vice point ID, due to the limited access to communication described above. In other aspects, the acknowledgement e-token may comprise a QUID or a combina- tion of local unique identifiers which renders the use of service point ID tags redun dant.

The use of piggybacking may result in that a synchronization e-token to be communi- cated from the service point may not reach its endpoint at all, which may be a central server, or may reach it long after it has been transmitted. By sending an acknowl edgement e-token, a verification of received synchronization e-token may be achieved. Hence, a handshake for received synchronization e-token is performed. In one aspect, the sequence number may be used as the handshake parameter for veri fication from the server of receipt of the synchronization e-token. Furthermore, the sequence number, in combination with the piece ID, may be used for keeping track of each service point’s present capacity. The synchronization e-tokens may comprise multiple sequence numbers and associat ed piece IDs. Furthermore, the synchronization e-tokens may be resent until an acknowledgement e-token is received, thereby ensuring that a handshake is per formed, even if one or more synchronization e-tokens are lost. In one aspect, the server may store a copy of the user e-token until the handshake for the received synchronization e-token is performed.

In one embodiment of the method an authentication may be performed between the service point and the holder of the user e-token. The authentication may be performed after the WPAN connection is established between the holder and the service point but before transmittal of the user e-token to the sendee point.

The authentication may comprise transfer of a challenge from the holder to the sendee point, transfer of a challenge key from the service point to the holder and a subsequent act of comparing the challenge and the challenge key performed by the holder, which then if the challenge and the challenge key match automatically transmits the user e- token. The authentication may be performed automatically be a user application holding the user e-token.

In a further embodiment, the computer-implemented method may comprise a further act of displaying parcel information associated with a user e-token.

The parcel information may be comprised in, attached to and/or associated with the user e-token. The parcel information may comprise information of the user event, par cel allocation, parcel dimensions, special conditions, such as fragility, storage temper- ature, weight or other important parameters for the parcel to be delivered or collected in the correct way. The parcel information may comprise guidance for delivering and/or picking up the parcel at the service point. The parcel information may comprise information on the time period for use of the user e-token - hence the expiry time for picking up the parcel or when the reserved capaci ty for deli very of a parcel expires

One effect of this further method may be that any displaying of information may be performed by an external screen included in or connected to an intermediate device, holding the user e-token, such that the method may display information but without requiring a service point with a display unit for performing the method. This may be advantageous in regard to omitting any costs for installing and maintaining such a display unit, but also in regard to achieving a method wherein the method acts per formed by the service point(s) may be kept at minimal power consumption.

Furthermore, this embodiment may have the effect that the service point may enable units typically used today for delivering and/or picking up parcels, such as a display and/or an input unit, which may be a key pad, a scanner or a touch screen to display information and/or guide the user of the delivery or collection event, which often in cludes entering a code for the delivery or collection event. A further object of the invention may be achieved by the computer-implemented method comprising the further act of displaying a courier route, comprising service points associated with the service point ID of the received user e-tokens. These method acts may in particular be suitable for use by a single courier directly or through a courier service provider distributing daily courier routes to their employed couriers. An effect of this further embodiment may be that only active service points, i.e. ser vice points that await parcel delivery or parcel pick-up by a specific single courier or courier service provider, appear in the courier route. The route may comprise several other service points, but these will not be displayed as active, as they are not relevant for this courier. Thereby, it may provide the single courier with a better overview of the tasks for a given route, without unnecessary stops at service points which are not awaiting his action. Furthermore, the route planning may be performed more optimal, as it may feature the shortest or fastest route between the active service points.

A further effect of the embodiment is that when the courier is close to a service point that matches a service point ID in the list, the method may entail that the beacon sig nal is matched with the user e-token and e WPAN connection is established. This may be advantageous in regard to the courier being informed about the instructions to be performed before or when reaching the actual service point location, for optimized time consumption and mitigating the risk of incorrect activities.

The parcel information may, as previously described, comprise information of the parcel dimensions, special conditions such as fragility, storage temperature, weight or other important parameters for the parcel to be delivered or collected in the correct way.

An effect of this further embodiment may be to provide the single courier with a better overview of the tasks on a given route. Thereby, the load can be arranged in the most optimal way, i.e arranging the parcels in an optimal way in the cargo hold of the truck to avoid unnecessary relocating of the parcels.

In one aspect, an object of the invention may be achieved by the computer- implemented method, wherein the piece ID refers to a service point item, the user- event refers to a maintenance event, and the parcel information comprises instructions for performing the maintenance event. This embodiment may in particular be suitable for use of maintenance professionals, maintaining the service points, and in particular sendee points comprising parcel lock ers. The sendee point item may be the item that needs maintenance, this could for example be communication means of the service point, a battery in a parcel locker, a compart ment of a parcel locker, just to mention a few examples - these are non-limiting ex amples The maintenance event may be the event to be performed on the above described ser vice point item. This could for example be replacement of a parcel locker battery, re pairing locking means in a parcel locker compartment, just to mention a few examples - these are non-limiting examples. The instructions for performing the maintenance event may comprise information of how the maintenance is performed, what precautions are needed, required tools or other parameters important for planning and performing the maintenance in a correct way. In one aspect, the spare parts needed for the maintenance may be delivered by other parties directly to the service point, such that the maintenance professional does not need to acquire and/or transport the spare parts himself.

One effect of this further embodiment is that the maintenance may be performed using the same method as parcel allocation, thereby achieving a distributed architecture for maintenance of the service points in a similar manner as the distributed architecture for allocation of parcels.

A further effect of this further embodiment may be that the user e-token comprises instruction, which gives the maintenance professional access to other elements at the sendee point than other users may access. Thus, the maintenance professional may not require any keys and/or special codes for accessing the service point elements for maintenance, which aids for distributing the maintenance tasks to multiple mainte- nance professionals. This further aids for hiring maintenance professionals on an ad- hoc basis for the maintenance tasks.

The present invention relates to different aspects. One aspect is the computer imple- mented method described above, other aspects may include devices, user applications and systems each yielding one or more of the effects and advantages described in con nection with the computer implemented method i.e. the method and the embodiments of this described above.

In another aspect, the computer-implemented method may comprise a further act of receiving information from a scanner.

One effect of this method may be that any scanning of information may be performed by a scanner comprised in an intermediate device holding the user e-token. The scan ner may be comprised in the intermediate device by being incorporated therein or hardwired thereto.

In another aspect, the computer-implemented method may comprise a further act of receiving information from a finger scanner using a wireless personal area network.

One effect of this method may be that any scanning of information may be performed by a scanner, which do not hold the user e-token itself and do not communicate with the service point, but which scanner only communicates with the intermediate device actually holding the e-token For either of the above two embodiments the scanner may be used for scanning a bar code or other information labeled on the parcel. The scanned information may be used to identify the parcel. The information may be linkable to the piece ID comprised in the user e-token. The finger scanner may be mountable on one or more finger, the back of the hand, the wrist, the lower arm or other suitable places making it useable for scanning the parcel, such that the user does not need to hold the scanner by hand. As an alternative to obtain hands-free operation, the scanner comprised in the inter mediate device holding the user e-token may be mounted with strapping means, a glove or comparable means to be mountable on one or more finger, the back of the hand, the wrist, the lower arm or other suitable places in accordance with the linger scanner. This alternative embodiment will also be referred to in the following, when discussing the finger scanner.

These further method acts may in particular be suitable for use by a single courier delivering and picking up parcels to and from a service point. Using a finger scanner to retrieve information from the parcel may have the effect, that the courier of the parcel has booth hands free for handling parcels or performing other actions associated thereto.

Using a WPAN for the communication has the effects and advantages previously dis- cussed in connection with the acts of transmitting and receiving e-tokens.

Using the finger scanner may be advantageous in regard to saving time in the parcel handling process due to the hands-free operation where the need for the courier to interact with a handhold device or a device mounted in the vehicle may be eliminated. Further advantages may include safer parcel handling and/or reduced risk of damaging a handhold device e.g. a scanning device.

In one aspect, the computer-implemented method may comprise a further act of send ing a signal to transducer means when a WPAN connection is established. An effect of this method may be that the carrier of the user e-token may be informed when a WPAN connection is established.

This may be advantageous in regard to verify to the user that the connection has been established and thereby reduce any insecurity experienced by the user in regard to the method. Furthermore, it is advantageous in regard to support a method for a hands free parcel allocation system. In one aspect, the computer-implemented method may comprise a further act of send ing a signal to transducer means when an electronic user token is transmitted in a ser vice point communication direction. The transducer means may be arranged to emit a visual signal, a vibration, an acoustic signal or a combination hereof e.g. being a buzzer.

An effect of this method may be that the carrier of the user e-token may be informed that the e-token is transmitted and that the parcel may be delivered or pick up at the service point. This may be advantageous in regard to achieve hands-free operation for faster and/or safer parcel handling. Furthermore, the method may be advantageous in regard to verify to the user that the user e-token has been transmitted and thereby re duce any insecurity experienced by the user in regard to the method. An object of the invention may he achieved by a mobile smart device comprising means for carrying out the computer-implemented method acts.

This embodiment for carrying out the computer-implemented method acts may have the effect that communication with the sendee point may be performed by one com- munication standard, and may use another communication standard to communicate with an endpoint, e.g. a server. This may be advantageous in regard to using a com munication standard with low power and short reaching communication signals be tween the mobile smart device and the service point, as previously described, and us ing a different communication standard between the mobile smart device and the serv- er, which may comprise high power and long reaching communication signals.

The above may support the method wherein the acts performed by the service point do not require any mobile telecommunication such as GSM, UTMS or comparable con nections and/or any internet connection. Instead, only a short range communication signal adapted to be received by a mobile smart device is required, as previously de scribed e.g. a Bluetooth or similar signal.

A further effect of using a WPAN connection may be that the communication with the service point is low power consuming. As the mobile smart device is used‘on the go’, the use of a WPAN connection may have the advantage of being low power consum ing for the mobile smart device.

In one aspect, the user e-tokens may be transmitted to the holder of the user e-token using http data, https data or comparable protocols. Once the user e-token is transmit ted and hence in the hands of the now holder of the user e-token a notification may be sent from the user application informing the holder thereof. The user may only receive this notification once he/she holds the user e-token thereby ensuring the the user e- token has actually been received by the holder. Additional information of the parcel and/or the location of the service point may be enclosed in the notification, in a sepa rate message or an attached message to the user e-token but not comprised therein.

In another aspect, the e-token may be further transmitted from one electronic device or electronic storage to a suitable mobile smart device. Hereby, it may be achieved that the e-token may be transferred by the receiving part to a trusted person to pick the parcel up instead of the recipient himself.

A further effect of this embodiment is that the mobile smart device may transmit the synchronization e-token immediately or carry the synchronization e-token until a proper communication connection to the endpoint, e.g. a server, may be established. Thus, the method provides for piggybacking of the synchroni zation e-token from the sendee point to the sen er. This may be advantageous in regard to using low power consumption communication means in the service points, as previously described with the further advantages also previously described.

The embodiment may have yet a further effect of achieving a real-time communica tion with the service point through a third party’s mobile smart device installed with the user application. This may for example be relevant if a courier, a maintenance pro fessional, a consignee, a consignor or another party requires help or guidance from a support employee. The support employee may then in real-time communicate with the sendee point by transmitting and/or receiving e-tokens. A real-time communication requires that the mobile smart device to be used has data connection. The real-time communication may include tasks such as requiring a status log from a parcel locker, opening a door to a compartment of a parcel locker or comparable tasks. These are merely examples and should be read as such.

Yet a further effect is that the mobile smart device may provide for a screen. Thereby, it is achieved that the display of information is performed by the mobile smart device which may have the advantage of eliminating the need for a screen at the sendee point. This has advantages both in regard to reducing the complexity of the service points in production, installation, operation and maintenance along with reducing power consumption in operation of the service points.

Furthermore, this embodiment may have the effect that the service point may enable units typically used today for collecting parcels such as a display and an input unit, which may be a key pad, a scanner or a touch screen to display information and/or guide the user of the delivery or collection event, which often includes entering a code for the delivery or collection event.

A further object of the invention may be achieved by a mobile smart device com prising transducer means for carrying out the computer-implemented method acts.

The transducer means may be arranged to emit a visual signal, a vibration, an acoustic signal or a combination hereof e.g. being a buzzer.

This embodiment may have the effect that the carrier of the user e-token may be in formed that the e-token is transmitted and that the parcel may be delivered or pick up at the service point. This may be advantageous in regard to achieve hands-free opera tion for faster and/or safer parcel handling. A further advantage may be a reduced in security experienced by the user when using the invention.

An object of the invention may be achieved by a user application program compris- ing instructions which, when the program is executed by a computer, cause the com puter to carry out the computer-implemented method acts. This embodiment may have the effects and advantages in line with those previously described in connection with the use of a mobile smart device for earning and trans- mitting - or piggybacking - the communicated data, including:

® The service point may only need to communicate with a mobile smart device within a short distance, thereby enabling the use of a low power consuming da- ta communication connection.

• The communication between the service point and the user application may not require any internet connection at the service point location, thereby avoid- ing adding any extra power load to the mobile smart device with the installed user application, when collecting the parcel. A more power consuming com munication with the server may be performed at a later time

® The user application only transmits e-tokens to an associated service point and only piggybacks small amounts of data from the sendee point to the server.

® The holder of the user e-token may use the user application for the parcel de livery' or parcel pick-up and thus, the recipient of the parcel already has the us er application activated when collecting the parcel and the piggybacking of one or more synchronization e-tokens and/or acknowledgement e-tokens may not include any further actions from the holder of the user e-token. Further more, the e-tokens may be passive and/or encrypted data, and therefore does not add any further risk to the user’s mobile smart device.

* The use of piggybacking may result in that a synchronization e-token, to be communicated from the sendee point to the server via the user application, may not reach the server at all or may reach the server long after the event has been performed. But this may be accounted for by transmitting several syn chronization e-tokens comprising overlapping information. Or by transmitting the same synchronization e-token to multiple user applications.

An effect of matching the sen ee point ED to that of a user e-token may be that only a user application with a user e-token matching the sendee point’s ID may connect to the service point. One advantage of this matching is that the sendee point may trans mit a synchronization e-token to the user application, which the user application then transmits immediately or carries until a proper communication connection to a mobile communication system may be established. Thus, the user application uses the mobile smart device for piggybacking the synchronization e-token from the service point to the server. The transmitted beacon signal and the transmission from the service point to the user application may be a Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth standard may transfer data rela tively fast with low power consumption. In addition, the quiescent current is very low. A Bluetooth communication unit is a very common unit in mobile smart devices, where the unit may have a communication range from 10 meters and longer. Other communication standards with the same characteristi cs of low power consumption and a limited communication range may be used. Furthermore, the communication stand ard may generally be widely used and implemented in mobile smart devices. This has the advantage of easy access to implementation and use of the method. This embodiment may furthermore have the effects and advantages in line with those previously described in connection with the use of a mobile smart device, which fur thermore receives information from a scanner comprised in the mobile smart device holding the user e-token or receives information from a finger scanner using a wire- less personal area network

Yet furthermore, this embodiment may have the effects and advantages in line with those previously described in connection with the use of a mobile smart device com prising transducer means. A further object of the invention may be achieved by a user application program configured as a software development kit.

One effect may be that the user application may be implemented in third parties appli cations, which may be advantageous in regard to incorporating the user application in an OEM product by a broad range of service providers. A further advantage may be reaching an extended range of possible users, whom do not need to actively install the application before accessing the services provided by the method and/or system. Yet a further advantage may be that the mobile smart device owner may need less installed applications. Due to the character of the e-tokens, which access may not be accessed by the user application, the security of the disclosed method and/or system and the mobile smart device is not jeopardized.

An object of the invention may he achieved by a computer-readable medium com- prising instructions which, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to carry' out the computer-implemented method acts.

The computer-readable medium may be comprised in the mobile smart device for im plementing and executing the described user application program on one device. This further supports the effects and advantages of the user application program as de scribed above.

An object of the invention may be achieved by use of the computer-implemented method for a parcel allocation system comprising a server, one or more sendee points and one or more user applications.

In another aspect, an object of the invention may be achieved by a parcel allocation system comprising one or more service points, a server, and one or more user applica tions, where the parcel allocation system is adapted for executing the acts of the meth- od for operating a system for allocating parcels.

The parcel allocation system provides for a distributed network architecture, where the sendee points acts as separate nodes, where the events performed by service points are performed, and where the server acts as a main node, collecting information from and communicating with the separate service point nodes where the parcels may be delivered to for pick-up by the parcel consignee. Thus, one effect may be obtaining a system where the server is updated with information of the associated service points’ status, using low' pow'er consuming sendee points and service points without mobile communication and/or internet connection. A further effect may be that the communi cated data is encrypted.

In accordance with the previously described embodiments of the method, the infor mation of the encryption keys is not shared between the single units comprised in the system, thereby mitigating the risk of hacking the information. In the case of one de coded encryption key, the damage may be limited to a single service point.

The further effects of the parcel allocation system may include one or more of the benefits previously described for the method, devices and/or user application such as reduced processor power units, and using common communication standards and off- the-shelf communication means.

In one exemplary embodiment of the method, the acts may be carried out in such a way that the server receives information of a parcel to be delivered at a given sendee point with sendee point ID. The server then allocates the parcel to the sendee point, and generates a user e-token, which is sent to the parcel consignee. The parcel con signee receives the e-token and hence, is the holder of the user e-token. To use the e- token, the holder may use the user application on a mobile smart device carrying the user e-token to pick up the parcel. The user e-token comprises information of the ser vice point location, for example by use of the service point ID. The parcel consignee then goes to the service point, here the user application may pick up the beacon signal transmitted by the service point and verify that the user e-token and the service point has the same service point ID. The sendee point may then receive the user e-token and perform the user event instructed by the user e-token.

After performing the user event, an associated sequence number may be generated by the service point. Furthermore, the service point may generate a synchronization e~ token to be transmitted to the user application. This synchronization e-token is later transmitted to the server from the user application.

This disclosure can advantageously be combined with one or more of the following six disclosures. Furthermore, the following six disclosures can be combined with each other.

A first disclosure may be use of a mobile smart device installed with a user applica tion in a system comprising a server and one or more sendee points for transmitting electronic tokens between the server and a sendee point. A use which includes using a communication standard for a data transmission supporting mobile communication system for communicating the electronic tokens to the server, and using a communi cation standard of a wireless personal area network for communicating the electronic tokens to the service point, such that the user application acts as a signal transformer for the electronic tokens being piggybacked by the user application between the server and the service point, which use is for a parcel allocation system.

A second disclosure may be a method for operating a door having a mechanical lock of a parcel locker compartment, comprised in a parcel locker having a service point ID. The method comprises the acts of transmitting beacon signals, comprising the ser- vice point ID and receiving a user electronic token tagged with a matching service point ID, comprising a piece ID and instruction of a user event. The method further comprises the acts of creating a parcel locker command for the received instructions and transmitting a parcel locker command signal for the parcel locker command for operating a lock. A method wherein the user electronic token is received using a communication standard of a wireless personal area network.

A third disclosure may be a computer-implemented method for operating a distributed network of sendee points having a service point ID for allocation of parcels. The method comprises acts of assigning parcel lockerfs) to the distributed service point network, each parcel locker being a service point, comprising one or more compart ments and a service point ID, assigning user(s) to the distributed service point network and using piece IDs for each parcel being allocated in the distributed sendee point network. The method further comprises an act of communicating electronic tokens to a sendee point, wherein the electronic tokens are communicated via a user application to the sendee point, using a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system for communicating the electronic tokens to/from the user application and a communication standard of a wireless personal area network (WPAN) for communicating the electronic tokens between the user application and the service point, such that the user application acts as a signal transformer for the communication of the electronic tokens.

A fourth disclosure may be use of a distributed network of mobile smart devices in stalled with a user application in a system comprising a server and one or more service points for transmitting electronic tokens between the server and a sendee point. A use which includes using a communication standard for a data transmission supporting mobile communication system for communicating the electronic tokens to the server, and using a communication standard of a wireless personal area network for com municating the electronic tokens to the sendee point, such that the user application acts as a signal transformer for the electronic tokens being piggybacked by the user application between the server and the sendee point. The electronic tokens may in clude user electronic tokens, synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledge ment electronic tokens. For each user electronic token one or more synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens may be piggybacked by one or more user applications of the distributed network of mobile smart devices. The use may be for a parcel allocation system.

A fifth disclosure may be a method for operating a door having a mechanical lock of a parcel locker compartment, comprised in a parcel locker having a sendee point ID. The method may comprise the acts of transmitting beacon signals, comprising the sendee point ID and receiving a user electronic token tagged with a matching service point ID, comprising a piece ID and instruction of a user event. The method may fur ther comprise the acts of creating a parcel locker command for the received instruc tions and transmitting a parcel locker command signal for the parcel locker command for operating a lock. A method wherein the user electronic token may be received us ing a communication standard of a wireless personal area network. The method may comprise further acts of generating a sequence number for the instruction of the user event, generating a synchronization electronic token, comprising the sequence number and the piece ID, transmitting the synchronization electronic token and receiving an acknowledgment electronic token.

A sixth disclosure may be a computer-implemented method for operating a distributed network of sendee points having a service point ID for allocation of parcels. The method comprises acts of assigning parcel locker(s) to the distributed sendee point network, each parcel locker being a service point, comprising one or more compart ments and a service point ID, assigning user(s) to the distributed sendee point network and using piece IDs for each parcel being allocated in the distributed service point network. The method further comprises an act of communicating electronic tokens to a service point, wherein the electronic tokens are communicated via a user application J, to the service point, using a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system for communicating the electronic tokens to/from the user application and a communication standard of a wireless personal area network (WPAN) for communicating the electronic tokens between the user application and the sendee point, such that the user application acts as a signal transformer for the communication of the electronic tokens. The electronic tokens may include user elec tronic tokens, synchronization electronic tokens and/or acknowledgement electronic tokens. Each of the user electronic tokens may be transmitted to the service point via a single user application. Each of the synchronization electronic tokens received from the service point and/or each of the acknowledgement electronic tokens transmitted to the sendee point may be communicated by one or more user applications in a distrib uted network of user applications.

ITEM:

Computer-implemented method for allocation of parcels to one or more sendee points comprising acts of:

- receiving electronic tokens using a first communication standard, and

- transmitting electronic tokens using a second communication standard,

enabling a communication direction, wherein

- the first communication standard is a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system, and the second communication standard is a communication standard of a wireless personal area network in a communication direction being a sendee point communication direction; and

- the first communication standard is a communication standard of a wireless personal area network, and the second communication standard is a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system in a communication direction being a server communication direction.

Description of the Drawing

Figure 1 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method.

Figure 2 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method.

Figure 3 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method.

Figure 4 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method. Figure 5 illustrates further one embodiment of the computer-implemented method. Figure 6 illustrates further one embodiment of the computer-implemented method. Figure 7 illustrates one embodiment of the parcel allocation system.

Detailed Description of the Invention

Figure 1 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method 100 for operating a system for allocation of parcels to one or more sendee points. The method comprises acts of receiving 102 and transmitting 108 e-tokens 10. The e- tokens may he user e-tokens, synchronization e-tokens and/or acknowledgement e- tokens.

One communication standard 170 is used for receiving 102 the e-tokens and another communication standard 170 is used for transmitting the e-tokens 10. The e-tokens 10 may be received and transmitted without accessing the comprised data content Hence, only the communication standard 170 used for receiving and transmitting the e-token, respectively is altered. A communication direction 160 is enabled 1 10 in the method 100

The communication standards 170 may be a communication standard of a data trans mission supporting mobile communication system 182 and a communication standard of a wireless personal area network 184. One communication direction 160 is a service point communication direction 162, where the electronic tokens 10 may be received using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication syste 182 and transmitted using the communication standard of a wireless personal area network 184. Another communication direction 160 may be a server communication direction 164, where the electronic tokens 10 may be received using the communication standard of a wireless personal area network 184 and transmitted using the communication stand ard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system 182. Figure 2 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method 100 for operating a syste for allocation of parcels to one or more service points.

The user electronic tokens 50 are communicated in a sendee point communication direction 162, where the tokens 50 may be received 102 using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system 182 and transmitted 108 using the communication standard of a wireless personal area network 184.

The receiver and transmitter of a user electronic token 50 may be a singled out node 12, here illustrated by a bold circle, communicating in the service point communica tion direction 162.

The synchronization electronic tokens 60 are communicated in a server point commu nication direction 164, where the tokens 60 may be received 102 using the communi- cation standard of a wireless personal area network 184 and transmitted 108 using the communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system 182. The receiver and transmitter of synchronization electronic tokens 60 may be any one of multiple distributed nodes 12 communicating in a server communication direction 164. The multiple distributed nodes 12 may include the node used for receiving and transmitting the user electronic token 50, illustrated by the bold circle. The acknowledgement electronic tokens 70 are communicated in a sendee point communication direction 162 similar to the user electronic token 50, where the tokens 70 may be received 102 using the communication standard of a data transmission sup porting mobile communication system 182 and transmitted 108 using the communica tion standard of a wireless personal area network 184.

However, different to the user electronic token 50, the receiver and transmitter of an acknowledgement electronic token 70 may be any one of multiple distributed nodes 12 communicating in a sendee point communication direction 162. Also in the case of the acknowledgement electronic token 70, the multiple distributed nodes 12 may in- elude the node used for receiving and transmitting the user electronic token 50, illus trated by the bold circle.

Figure 3 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method 100 for allocating parcels, which method comprise acts of receiving 102 and transmitting 108 e-tokens 10. The e-tokens may be user e-tokens, synchronization e-tokens and/or acknowledgement e-tokens. A first communication standard 172 is used for receiving 102 the e-tokens and a second communication standard 174 is used for transmitting the e-tokens 10. The e-tokens 10 may be received and transmitted without accessing the comprised data content. Only the communication standard used for receiving the e-token is altered for the transmission of the e-token and, hence, the signal type for receiving and transmitting differs. A communication direction 160 is enabled 110 in the method 100. One communication direction is a service point communication direc tion 162, where the first communication standard 172 is a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system 182, and the second communication standard 174 is a communication standard of a wireless personal area network 184. Another communication direction is a server communication direction 164, where the first communication standard 172 is a communication standard of a wireless personal area network 184, and the second communication standard 174 is a communication standard of a data transmission supporting mobile communication system 182

Figure 4 illustrates one embodiment of the computer-implemented method 100 for allocating parcels 40. The method 100 comprises an act of receiving 102 a user e- token 50. The user e-token 50 is associated to a parcel 40 and is tagged with a service point ID 24. The user e-token 50 comprises instructions 52 of a user event and a piece ID 42. The piece ID may be a QUID and may be associated to a specific parcel. The instructions 52 may concern the delivery of a parcel, pick-up of a parcel, a mainte nance task, installation task or comparable tasks.

The character of the user e-token 50 is dependent on the instructions 52. In case the instruction concerns a parcel delivery 44, the user e-token 50 is a delivery e-token 50A. In case the instruction concerns a parcel pick-up 44, the user e-token 50B is a pick-up e-token 46. The two different types of user e-tokens 50 are illustrated by the dotted arrow-s.

The illustrated embodiment further comprises an act of receiving a beacon signal 22, comprising a service point ID 24. The beacon signal may be transmitted by the service point having the comprised service point ID. The service point is not illustrated. In case the service point ID tag of the user e-token 50A,50B matches that comprised in the beacon signal 22, a connection to the sendee point may be established and the user e-token 50A,50B is transmitted to the service point.

Figure 5 illustrates two further embodiments of the computer-implemented method 100 for allocating parcels. Both embodiments comprises an act of receiving 102 a user e-token 50. The method further comprises an act of receiving 102 a beacon signal 22 and an act of transmitting 108 the user e-token 50 if the sendee point ID 24 associated with respectively the beacon signal 22 and the user e-token 50, according to the illus trated embodiment in figure 4. Both embodiments of the method 100 furthermore comprises the act of receiving 102 and the act of transmitting 108 a synchronization e~ token 60 comprising a sequence number 58 and a piece ID 42. Compared to the em bodiment illustrated in figure 5 A, figure 5B illustrates an embodiment comprising the further acts of receiving 102 and transmitting 108 an acknowledgement e-token 70. The embodiments illustrated in figure 5A and figure 5B illustrates piggybacking of the user e-token 50, the synchronization e-token 60 and the acknowledgment e-token 70, respectively.

Figure 6 illustrates two further embodiments of the computer-implemented method 100 for allocating parcels.

The illustrated embodiments are a method 100 comprising the further act of displaying 104 information in figure 6A an act of displaying parcel information 48 associated with a user e-token 50 is illustrated. In figure 6B an act of displaying a courier route 82 indicates the service points of user e-tokens 50 possessed by the courier. The user e-tokens 50 are tagged with a sendee point ID and, thereby, the service points having these service point IDs may be displayed A further embodiment may combine the display of information from figure 6A and figure 6B in one embodiment. The vertical dotted line alludes to the other acts comprised in the method. These may be the method acts comprised in the illustrated embodiments in figures I, 2 and/or 3 or embodiments described in connection with those.

Figure 7 illustrates an overview of the method for operating a system for allocating parcels 40 and a parcel allocation system 400 The illustrated embodiment may also illustrate aspects of the use of the computer-implemented method in the parcel alloca tion system 400. The illustrated parcel allocation system 400 comprises multiple ser vice points 20, a user application 190 adapted to be installed on a mobile smart device 90 and a server 30. The mobile smart device comprises a computer-readable medium 198. The user application progra 190 is adapted to execute the acts of the method

100 for allocating parcels, which comprises acts of communicating data to and from the server 30 and the service points 20 The communicated data to or from the service points 20 and/or the server 30 is received by and/or transmitted from the user applica tion 190 adapted to be installed on a mobile smart device 90. The communicated data may be encrypted with service point encryption keys, each associated with a single service point 20. The service points 20 emit beacon signals 22 advertising its presence and its sendee point ID 24. These beacon signals may be read by the user application 190.

The illustrated embodiment of a parcel allocation system may comprise one or more parcel lockers as a sendee point. The parcel allocation system may comprise multiple service points 20 and thus, multiple parcel lockers. The user application program 190 may be tailored to a specific user group. In one em bodiment the user application may be a basic application 190. In other embodiments, the user application may be tailored to courier professionals as a courier application 192 or to maintenance professionals as a maintenance application 194. The user appli- cation comprises instructions to carry out the method acts of receiving 102 and trans- mitring 108 e-tokens. The e-tokens may include user e-tokens 50, synchronization e~ tokens 60 and acknowledgement e-tokens 70. The illustrated embodiment further dis closes a user application 190, 192,194, comprising instructions to carry out the method act of enabling a communication direction for determining which communication standard to be used for transmission and receipt of the e-tokens. The illustrated em~ bodiment further illustrates a user application 190,192,194 comprising instructions to carry out the method act of displaying 104 information.

The illustrated parcel locker comprises a parcel locker chassis, one or more compart ments, each compartment having at least one mechanically lockable door, configured to be locked to the parcel locker chassis. The parcel locker may further comprise a battery such that the parcel locker may be battery operated. The parcel locker further comprises service point transmitter means, sendee point receiver means and sendee point processor means. The illustrated embodiment comprises a server 30. The server comprises sen er trans mitter means, server receiver means and server processor means. The server may fur ther comprise an encryption key record. The encryption key record may comprise the sendee point IDs of the associated sendee points to the system and the associated ser vice point encryption key.