Blog - 2012 January
January 26, 2012 – 11am
Once again, we head over to Japan, to see what’s happening in the Vending world. This time though, it’s a little different to what we have come to expect.
The culture of celebrity is becoming a massive part of our lives, thanks to social media such as twitter and TV shows like the X factor people are now feeling closer to their favourite celebrities than ever with technology bringing them to an accessible level, but seeing them out and about in real, public life still excites most people. Scenes of pandemonium are seen when Justin Bieber or Rihanna walk down the street…
Now, a cafe in Japan has turned this around. Forget walking up to a noodle vending machine and being served your hot cup of noodles straight from the machine. Now you can pop along, buy your noodles and select your favourite ‘idol’ from a vending machine, walk over to the counter and have your Idol fill your cup with water and chat to you for 3 minutes about your day. The idol is actually there, behind the counter in the cafe waiting to serve you!All this, and a drink for just 800 JPY! Different Idols will appear in the cafe on different days to allow for variety and the chance for the customers to meet their favourite.
Personally, I find this slightly odd… I can’t imagine Cheryl Cole or Victoria Beckham working in a cafe, filling noodle pots with water and having a chat unless for charity. But, hey, if it works for the Japanese give it a few years and there might be a few ex-Big Brother stars willing to serve noodles over here in the UK as well!
How do you feel about this? Would you feel comfortable making small talk with a pop star as they make you noodles, or would you rather stick to the usual, anonymous vending machine which does everything for you? As ever, let us know in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts on this one!
Original article here.
January 18, 2012 – 11am
Our ever expanding range of products has grown again… New on our website this morning I am pleased to announce Intelligent Vending now stock Valera Swiss Nano 9000 Push Hairdryers! This nifty 2000W hair dryer would be a great addition to any hotel, gym or leisure center washroom.
The neat spiral cable makes this handy hair dryer portable, yet the 6 speed and heat combinations along with 2 ultra narrow concentrator nozzles gives you and your customers the optimum choices of how to dry your hair! Despite the Nano’s size, no compromises have been made on the workings, nor the aesthetics of this piece of equipment! We are really impressed with Valera hairdryers and expect to see this model flying off our shelves!
To celebrate this hair dryer being added to our website, we are running a special promotion through twitter, facebook and google+. It couldn’t be more simple, just like, follow or add us to your circle, and leave a comment asking for a discount and I’ll give you 5% off any of the brilliant Valera hair dryers! If you dont already like or follow, or have us in your circle, what are you waiting for?! Here’s how to find us:
Twitter – or tweet us @ivending
January 12, 2012 – 1pm
So 2012 has got off to a flying start with the days just zipping by. I’m (just about) managing to stick to my resolutions, how are you getting along with yours?
It’s at this time of year everyone is thinking about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Often, all this good intention can be disrupted by walking past – or deliberately walking to – a vending machine. You could be innocently walking by when all of a sudden your eye is caught by the glistening wrapper of a chocolate bar or the shiny metal of a can of fizzy drink. Do you have the will power to keep on walking? Or would you like to see healthy options in your machine? Whether this is in the form of healthy food and fruits, or low-cal or low carb options on chocolate and sweets, or even baked crisps. If these options were available to you would you be likely to choose this instead of a sugar laden treat? Healthy eating initiatives within schools have already made a difference in what products are available to children within vending machines, but how about in your office, or a machine in a public area, for example? Would you rather have the option of healthy snacks stocked alongside chocolate and crisps or would you be more likely to use a machines filled completely with health food?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on healthy vending so leave me a comment below!
January 6, 2012 – 2pm
Students at MIT have designed a particularly innovative machine for the vending of bicycle helmets, to wok in conjunction with Boston’s “Hubway” bicycle sharing scheme.
Research into the Hubway scheme showed that only around 30% of the users wore helmets, which obviously is not very safety conscious! Despite local retailers selling heavily discounted helmets, users did not seem to embrace them. Enter 12 undergraduates of MIT Mechanical Engineering 2.009 class…Students at the Institute are renowned for innovative design and successfully designed the prototype for the “HelmetHub.” This vending machine is half the size of a regular snack or drinks machine and features a touch screen in line with the design of the Hubway along with solar panels for power. The machine dispenses adjustable helmets for $8 which users can either keep and re-use or return for a partial refund, as helmets are then taken to be inspected and cleaned.
Currently this is a prototype machine, but the students are in talks to build a Beta version which could be put to the test by the summer.
Have you ever used a bike-share scheme, such as Hubway or the so called “Boris Bikes” in London? Of all the bike-shares, only Melbourne, Australia has a helmet vending machine but it is far bulkier than the tight space saving option offered by Hubway. If you use a bike share programme, would you be tempted by the shared helmet as well? Do you ride your own bike with a helmet? Let us know in the comments below!
January 5, 2012 – 12pm
Everyone loves free things, no matter what they are, and most people if they can get something for free, they will.
Now a Japanese (of course) Vending Machines company has come into there own by offering free Wi-Fi for using the machine. Users then must stay within a 50 meter radius of this machine to have access to wi-fi internet on any wi-fi enabled device, for 30 minutes before you get logged out and have to log back in again (and you don’t have to buy another drink!)
As we all know, Japan is crazy for vending machines, and the more technologically advanced the better. Free Wi-fi perks up everyone’s day, especially as data plans get squeezed and more expensive, this coupled with the interesting and unusual drinks options is sure to make these machines a hit across Japan. Manufacturer Asahi Beverages hope to roll out 1,000 machines during 2012, and up to 10,000 over the next five years., which not only shows the extent of the popularity of vending machines across Japan but also the faith Asahi has in these machines that having a Wi-fi enabled machines will not only draw customers to the machine in the first place but the 30 minutes (extendable) window could mean that the customer will buy their drink, have a poke around on the Internet, realise their drink is finished and buy another (and hopefully repeat this several times!)
As we are seeing more and more, Japan is taking interactive vending machines to another level, the introduction of QR codes on Coca-Cola machines, and face recognition technology to suggest drinks to the customer, and I for one can’t wait to see what impact this Wi-Fi machine has on the Japanese market and how this will develop and transform the market!
January 3, 2012 – 10am
Well, today’s date is 03/01/2012. How did that happen?! 2011 has passed by in a blur and now here we are, at the start of a New Year with so much to look forward to. 2012 is full of promise and expectation and we are fully expecting to be rushed off our feet! We’re now back to normal office opening hours and are all glad to be back and ready to work hard to make this our most successful year yet. Expect for us to continue in much the same vein as before- amazing prices, fantastic customer service and innovative ideas on how to get your product vended!
As ever, any questions, queries or ideas you would like us to help you work with, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We hope you’ve all had a very Happy New Year!