Introducing Amazon’s New Talking Locker Feature
Amazon Lockers are secure, self-service kiosks where customers can pick up Amazon.com packages at a time and place that is convenient for them. Amazon Locker was introduced in 2011, and has since expanded to over 2,000 locations across 50 plus major metropolitan areas in the US. Hub by Amazon is a similar secure, self-service kiosk for apartment residents that uses the same Amazon Locker kiosk technology for packages delivered by anyone, and was introduced in 2017.
We are thrilled to introduce Amazon talking lockers, our newest improvement in accessibility for Amazon Lockers. We are also thrilled that our on-going collaboration with President Mark Riccobono facilitated our direct interaction with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and their deep expertise in accessible user interfaces, as we worked towards this key innovation.
Accessibility is a high priority for Amazon Locker and Hub by Amazon. Last year, we introduced our first major accessibility innovation - the lower locker preference. This preference can be found in the online checkout experience and allows customers to tell us if they would like their package delivered to an easier-to-reach lower locker slot. The lower slot preference is available at all Amazon Lockers and Hub by Amazon worldwide, and continues to receive positive feedback from customers who use the feature.
In March of this year, the Locker team debuted our latest accessibility innovation, talking Lockers, at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. Amazon Lockers now have a tactile keypad with Braille, and a headphone jack that allows blind and low-vision customers to insert their headphones to receive audio instructions to independently pickup and return packages.
Throughout the design and development of our talking Locker interface, we worked very closely with a number of blind and low-vision individuals both within and outside of Amazon, who shared valuable feedback to help shape our design and customer experience. Recently, at the CSUN conference in March, we had the opportunity to share the talking Locker experience and gather additional feedback from many blind and low-vision attendees. And as of today, the talking locker feature has rolled out to 100% of Amazon Lockers across the US and will expand to the EU and Hub by Amazon this summer. We are also rolling out improvements to the locker’s visual user interface, like larger, higher-contrast on-screen text, that will help low-vision customers.
Amazon Locker remains committed to the independence, security, and accessibility offered by our package delivery solutions. We are also committed to our strong, active partnership with the National Federation of the Blind. In our ongoing collaboration with the NFB, we will continue to improve on Amazon Locker accessibility as part of our ongoing efforts to continue to enhance the overall experience for all of our customers. We look forward to showcasing the accessibility features at the NFB National Convention in Orlando in July, and to bringing talking Lockers to a community near you.