SONY DSCBy Chris Gilder

Our lunch hours are often wasted standing in line. What if we could do more with our lunch break? Much, much more …

I find myself dreaming a great deal about how I want the world to be; I suppose that is the nature of being an entrepreneur. And since I now find myself at the helm of a self-service solutions company, I often dream about a world in which daily dilemmas are solved.

Most everyone gets a lunch break. Yesterday, during mine, I was thinking about how much better I could spend that time. If I had my way, here is how I would’ve spent my lunch hour:

There are so many things I need to take care of during my Friday break. I need to pick up a DVD for this weekend’s family movie night, I need a case for my new iPhone 6 before I destroy it, I need to somehow get a new modem (the lightning knocked mine out last night), and I am supposed to pick up lunch for the team. No problem! Before I head out the door, I start the ball rolling. First I open the mobile app for the local sandwich shop, enter everyone’s order, and pay with my phone. Then, I select the case for my phone from the major retailer’s website. I order and pay for it with my phone; I select that I will pick it up at the local mBOX Automated Locker (more on that later). Finally, I open up my RedBox app and reserve the movie we want to see. Luckily, I had called the cable company the night before and alerted them I’d need a replacement modem via their automated system. They also have an mBOX for product distribution.

The clock starts and I am off. The first stop is the RedBox; I swipe my card and get my movie – three minutes and 45 seconds gone. Next, I pull up outside the major retailer, walk through the doors and straight up to the mBOX lockers; I scan my proof of purchase that was sent via email, and a door pops open to reveal my new iPhone case and a nice thank you note with a receipt attached – and now just seven minutes and 32 seconds gone.

It happens that the sandwich shop is only 100 yards away, but I jump back in my car (it’s still running; yeah, I’m a risk taker) and pull up outside to the mBOX pick up, scan my phone, swipe my card to pay, the door opens, I grab my bag of sandwiches and receipt. As I head back to the office, I swing by the cable office but as you may guess, I don’t have to go inside. I scan my phone at the mBOX outside, grab my new modem and replace it with the fried one, and I am off, on my way back to the office.

Just like that, my shopping is done (and thankfully my phone is safely in a case), the family movie is picked up, lunch is served, the new modem is in hand, and I still have 45 minutes and 24 seconds left of my lunch hour to go.

This technology is already here! At Meridian, we’ve developed a modular automated storage system (mBOX) that can be as simple or as complex as it needs to be. By integrating kiosk components that are on the market now, with modular customizable storage units, we can accomplish an endless numbers of solutions for our customers. When combined with mobile technology, the uses go up exponentially. Moving forward, adoption of such uses for automated, modular storage will only rise. I am confident that my dream lunch hour will be here sooner than later.