Team Members

E-commerce delivers the world to your door but at what cost to the earth? We live in a “gotta-have-it-now” economy and have grown accustomed to one-click doorstep delivery of about anything in the universe. This explosion of online retail is a major contributor to climate change as well as the epic trash pandemic infiltrating our land, sea and air.

Unfortunately, this stratospheric growth in packaging has overwhelmed our recycling ecosystem, further stressed by shutdowns in overseas sorting and processing. Urban centers are at particular risk to this plight and the team at Infinity Box is committed to finding a solution that combines the convenience of e-commerce with the need for sustainability.

INNOVATION

Introducing Infinity Box, a collapsible, infinitely reusable fleet of shipping boxes featuring low-power GPS tracking and customer-centered logistics.

Infinity Box empowers consumers with an option to offset the world of e-commerce waste. It is a narrow-band IoT trackable, collapsible and returnable consumer-centric shipping box loop thanks to 100% recyclability. Versus single-use, industry-standard corrugate, Infinity Box is the smarter shipping solution toward the sustainable future we want and need. One that will become ingrained into the day-to-day fabric of our lives much like reusable grocery bags.

The process begins with vendors selecting to offer a sustainable alternative when customers order items for shipment. We then coordinate with the vendor to supply them boxes according to projected needs. When a customer places an order, they are given the option to select Infinity Box at check-out. The products are then packed and shipped via the business’ chosen carrier. Upon receipt, simply open and unpack your items. Then, easily collapse the box to its locked position for return. Scan the included return label via our app (or the vendor’s app using our API) and leave it outside. The carrier will receive an alert and the next in-area truck will pick it up from your doorstep returning it for infinite reuse.

Consumer engagement is yet another innovative component. With built-in smart tracking, users can not only see the delivery as it approaches but they can also see every other delivery that box has made. Ever. Call up a map to see all the routes the box has traveled. Leave a note or a picture via the app for the next recipient. Think of it as your own “message in a bottle” experience! Go one step further and adopt the box. Give it a name. With Infinity Box users are at the center of our sustainable ecosystem.

As Infinity Box adoption grows, the potential impact on e-commerce logistics and materials consumption will be evaluated as the pilot is deployed at minimum scale across common carriers and early data starts rolling in for analysis and visualization. This data can then be analyzed by deep learning against various heterogeneous socio-economic data acquired from academic study or available urban and mobile sensor datasets. This external data may include general traffic and commuting patterns, trash recycling rates, air pollution measurements, fuel consumption rates, and on-time package delivery rates.

MANUFACTURABILITY

Made of high-impact ABS plastic and using the uniquely durable and collapsible design, Infinity Box easily outlasts anything in the space. These boxes are projected to make over 100 round trips before being retired and recycled into a new Infinity Box. There are no special molding requirements. Tooling will be in steel rather than aluminum for maximum life-span of the production process.

Similarly, the narrowband tracking employs existing components manufactured into a low profile form-factor using the technology to transmit telemetry data about its associated package via various national and international wireless service providers to an array of unstructured data stores such as Microsoft Azure Cosmos Database via IoT Hub on a secured, distributed cloud network. This global-view data, which may include velocity, location coordinates, and DateTime, are processed for insights to reveal trends.

IMPACT

The truth is, municipalities aren’t recycling like we think they are. As much as 75% of our recyclables aren’t being processed because the volume is just too high for cities to process. Furthermore, China is no longer accepting our waste. This means more waste is going to landfills and incinerators affecting land, sea and air quality as well as human wellness. Infinity Box will not only ebb the flow of single-use corrugated boxes, but will be part of the solution to reclaim and repurpose current post-consumer plastic waste, all while adding enormous value to logistics tracking and the customer experience.

With Infinity Box, users will have the ultimate in engagement and trackable package protection, companies will save money, everyone will do their part to reduce waste and help the planet for generations to come.

Inspiration

Infinity Box initiated from a deep concern about the unfathomable cardboard waste being generated by e-commerce and a desire to preserve the convenience of online shopping while addressing this critical issue. Our team originated from the Iovine and Young Academy (IYA) masters program at the University of Southern California. Our members were struck by not only the urgency of this crisis due to recent recycling policy changes, but by the availability of technology enabling us to tackle a challenge of this scope. With a vision of COMMERCE WITHOUT WASTE, we repeatedly bolstered our confidence with a mindset that if we could KNOW BETTER about the issues and challenges, we could DO BETTER. Consumer feedback helped us quickly realize that our physical and technology solutions need to take into consideration fulfillment centers, carriers, vendors and consumers. It must perform well in both expanded and collapsed states. It needs to be highly secure, more efficient and easier to handle than corrugate, and it must take into consideration populations of millions of boxes moving together. Most importantly however, to achieve such a profound change, we need to design the entire solution around customer engagement, adding value every step of the way. IYA’s integrated approach to design fueled our passion to take on a challenge of this scale. As leaders throughout the world have repeatedly challenged, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

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