Blog - 2011 November

Intelligent Vending Ltd >> Blog

No shirt, no shoes…

Left the house without your Tee shirt? Gone out for lunch and spilt ketchup down yourself? Has your children run through a water fountain and come out the other side soaking wet through?

Well now thanks to Coinstar (you know – the machine in the supermarkets you throw all the change you’ve had sitting round the house into so you don’t have to count it and take it to the bank) and online tee shirt store Threadless, should any of these predicaments happen to you whilst out and about in Chicago, USA where the machines are in trials in malls, you’re not going to be caught short, nor are you any longer going to have to venture into a store and deal with a sales assistant who will probably just stare at your new ketchup’d tee shirt.

Now, thanks to the Threadless machine you can slide on up to it, pop in your money and pull out a super cool tee shirt before anybody realises how clumsy you are!

Alongside tee shirts printed with the designs currently available on Threadless’ website, there is also the option to purchase tote bags, onesis, hot water bottles and hoodies.

“E-Commerce” is looking like it will become a huge player in the retail market in the not too distant future. As QR codes become more popular, companies are going to see more and more the benefit of having an automated vending machine rather than floods of staff who either mooch around looking sullen and that they can think of a million places they would rather be, or jump and of the shadows and terrify the customers (I’m looking at you, Hollister) not only will it save money on staff costs, but also adds more of a novelty for consumers, a machine they haven’t seen before catches their eye, they buy a great quality product at it, potentially cheaper than its equivalent in a shop (in line with online prices) and without the hassle of queuing, listening to awful, too loud music etc.

We can see this be coming a massive trend throughout the retail market. Have you ever considered vending your product in a similar machine? Let us know in the comments below! And, as ever, if you have any questions regarding what you can and cannot vend, or how we can help you reach your dream of vending your product do not hesitate to get in touch!


Ahhh, Alcohol.

A bar in New York City’s Meatpacking district has launched an interesting new way of getting a drink during busy periods. Instead of waiting for your bartender to make, shake and serve you a cocktail, whiskey or wine, you can now simply take your glass to a vending machine (or Enomatic machine as this bar calls them) for a top up.

These machines keep the drink at the optimum temperature, just as they would behind the bar and all you have to do is push a button and place your glass!

Big leather couches and a (potentially) fab atmosphere. This is all in Samantha’s (SATC) neighbourhood, but how would the machine cater to specific requests – especially when it comes to whiskey customers can be very picky if there is too much/not enough ice in their glass.

What do you think? Would you rather go into a bar and not have to put up with bartenders? Not have to worry about how much tip you should give or how much they will take upon a “take you’re own love”? Or do you quite like the human interaction and being able to have your drink made exactly to your requirments?


Just to brighten up your Monday morning, please take note that …. (drumroll please) … Cadbury Creme Eggs are now back in stock on the website!

We have fantastic prices on a wide range of cadbury chocolates, walkers crisps and various soft drinks on our online shop, perfect for vending machines, a treat for your office, or even just to take home and munch your way through!


I missed you so!

Now this is clever! Ever wanted to greet (or be greeted by) your nearest and dearest with a banner expressing how much you missed them? Hours to prepare a banner of epic proportions from a bed sheet is not something most people have the time to do these days so the clever people over at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport have installed a ‘bannerXpress’ vending machine. Through this machine, you can design your own banner and print it off on canvas in just a matter of minutes, costing between 4 and 15 Euros.

The banners are waterproof and should therefore last a few trips to the airport should your other half be a frequent traveller and you want to act out ‘Love Actually’! The company behind the machines are looking to expand into concert arenas and sports grounds – so you’ll never be far from the opportunity to make an I <3 Justin Bieber banners – along with other airports.

Personally, I think this is a lovely idea. How many times have you been picked up at the airport and heard “oh, I was going to make a banner but I didn’t have time”?! Well, now there is no excuse thanks to this nifty machine! The machine launched yesterday, if you happen to be flying into (or out of) Shriphol Airport let us know if you see – or use- the machine. I’d love to know what the banners actually turn out like!


Happy Friday!

– Saskia

A happy customer

A recent testimonial from a happy customer regarding the work Sam Roe, our Strategic Director has been involved in at Derby University with regards to a customised vending solution.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Sam Roe over the last 6 months or so, developing a different vending offer for our students. Sam has been extremely generous with his time and always gave sound advice on which products to stock and where to put them in the machines to get the best return.

Sam is passionate about his work, sometimes even obsessive, but always a true professional. I have no problem recommending Sam and his company for any vending needs you may require.”


Jonathan Birrell

Finance Manager

University of Derby Students Union



As part of our ongoing expansion, we’ve added a few new products to the site

Last week, we introduced the Astro Systems GBA note readers and Microcoin coin mechanisms. But now, a special mention must go to the GBA GV1 Acceptor. This state of the art note reader is perfect for kiosk machines, or the gaming industry. Reliable, simple and holds the capacity to accept notes from a massive range of world currencies – almost where ever you are in the world, this machine will accept your notes! Configured out of the box for GBP, the note guide is a simple snap-change for different currencies, which can then be locked as you want it, into place within the housing.

Specifically designed with security in mind, the GV1 works in harmony with the GBA ST2 note validator, using “Sense Technology” note validation, to minimise fraud on your system.

As with all GBA technology solutions, the mechanism is backed with dedicated support staff, research and development engineers. Its highly unlikely anything will go wrong, but should the worst happen, you’re in safe hands!

At Intelligent Vending, we think this is a fabulous product, and the way forwards with regards to your note reading needs, the simple, yet rigidly designed mechanism is on the cutting edge of note reading technology.

Astro Systems

New Products Alert! New Product Alert!

Just a quick post to let you know that new products have been added to the website, we now stock Astro Systems GBA ST1 and GBA ST2 Note Readers. These are state of the art note readers. We will be adding more, new and innovative products from Astro Systems in the coming days so keep your eyes peeled!


Happy Friday


Pay with potatoes!

Lays Crisps (Walkers in the UK) have introduced a new promotional machine to show how fresh and pure their crisps really are. Instead of paying with spare change, consumers are asked to put a whole potato into the vending machine and then watch as it is washed, peeled, sliced and fried to be turned into the ready salted crisps they know and love, quite the contrast to last weeks post about free crisps when the recession is mentioned!

This is a digital video, but gives a great insight into how the machine will work and could potentially brighten up snack time, especially as it shows the whole process of getting a bag of crisps, right from real potato, to being sealed into their bag for freshness.

Lays Vending Machine

Here at Intelligent Vending, we think this is a fab machine, exciting to watch and also serves as a reminder as to where food actually comes from, the act of putting in a real, possibly field-muddy potato brings the bag of crisps back to earth, especially for children who are perhaps so used to eating from a packet that they wouldn’t even know that crisps are made from potatoes grown in muddy fields.

Contactless at the Olympics

As part of Coca-Cola’s high profile sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic games in London, they are currently in talks to bring contactless technology to their vending machines at the event. Coke are currently liaising with Visa to integrate the technology within their machines in time for the Olympics with the hope that this will turn the games into the biggest contactless event ever! Meanwhile, mobile phone giant Samsung are also in talks with Coca-Cola and Visa to use Near Field Communication-ready handsets at the event, allowing consumers to simply hold their mobile phone to the contactless machine to pay for their bottle of Coke. James Eadie, head of Olympics at Coca-Cola GB, has been quoted as saying “The technology is already available today and we are in conversation with Visa over the Olympic Park and how it would work.”

This is an exciting time for the future of Vending machines and here at Intelligent Vending Ltd we will be keeping a close eye on how Coca-Cola proceed with contactless payments at the Olympic Games.

How do you feel about contactless payments? Would you like to be able to use your mobile phone to pay for a drink out of a vending machine when in a rush to get from the long jump to the 100 meter final?!

Game while you guzzle?

Coca-Cola in Japan is modifying many of its vending machines to make them far more interactive with users. This is the next stage in Coca-Cola’s ‘Happiness’ campaign and will promote  brand loyalty for Coke customers.  The addition of QR codes onto machines mean that customers can interactive with the machine and create it a virtual identity, allowing customers to think of a machine they frequently visit as “my machine.”

Checking in at the machine will earn users badges and points, which can be spent customising “their” machine with things like skins, shoes and backgrounds.  The more a customer interacts with a machine, the more personalised its response will be, sending information such as brand updates and news and weather. Also available will be a badge to show that a user has visited machines through out the country – not an easy feat at all, but one no doubt hardcore game and Coke fans will be excited to try and achieve!

Registration for the so-called “Happiness Quest” opens next week, with an added promotional incentive – a one million yen prize which is sure to make it very popular.

This is sure to be a success for Coca-Cola if not just by their sheer presence in the vending world in Japan – by the end of March 2012, they are hoping to have 820,000 machines with QR codes on- but because everyone loves a game, and rather than tweeting “I’m using a vending machine” customers can now scan the QR code and play a quick game as they wait for the bottle of coke to vend. Exciting stuff!

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