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Max-eBar® Your Key to Smart 24/7 Hospitality!

Max-eBar... Your Key to Smart 24/7 Hospitality

The Max-eBar® system is designed to provide hotel guests 24/7 access to goods using their room key. Products are dispensed by the Max-eBar® automated retail centre and charged directly to the guests hotel room bill. This provides a convenient, streamlined, reliable, and easy to operate service.

The Max-eBar® automated retail centre is usually sited on the guest bedroom corridor or in a central location like the reception area allowing guests to simply swipe their room key, make a purchase and have it charged directly to their room account. No credit cards or cash are required. In effect, this is a ‘max’ version of the traditional ‘mini’ bar with one cabinet able to provide service to many rooms.

Max-eBar® provides many benefits including:

* Reduced stockholding
* Faster stock turnover
* 24/7 unmanned service
* An alternative to visiting the bar or restaurant for those in a hurry and particularly for those travelling alone
* Safe, secure delivery, no possibility of contamination
* Impulse purchases with ‘no money’ required
* Opportunity to provide unattended serving of alcohol
* Wide range of goods available
* Available in Hostel or Hotel mode
* Accurate billing avoids disputes at Reception

Also, for added impact, we can provide a fully branded machine by a leading design agency using high-end 3M materials. The Max-eBar® can be free standing or incorporated into a custom built enclosure, depending on the needs to of your organisation and/or budget requirements.

Working in collaboration with one of our close development partners Quintus Systems (the originator and inventor of the Max-eBar® system), this reliable & high-end solution now becomes reality and a standard offering for our global hotel clients.

Let us integrate the Max-eBar® seamlessly with your hotel PMS and door key system. This is a perfect addition to any hotel environment and we can tailor our solutions to meet your needs with minimal downtime to guest services.

Hospitality is just one sector where we can add value, so let us unlock the potential of cashless interfacing within your organisation, whatever your business focus.

Intelligent Vending and Quintus Systems have packages to suit small niche hotels to large international chains, so please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us on +44 (0) 1629 825555 or email: sales@intelligentvending.co.uk for more information.

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

Promoting Sexual Health in Africa

Intelligent Vending followers will know that our company has always had an interest in promoting sexual health, and we’ve tried to make a contribution where we can across the world. It’s great therefore to hear from Christopher Wells regarding the work he’s undertaken in Southern Ethiopia. Chris has kindly provided a link to findings from the research work titled Prophylactic Procurement of University Students in Southern Ethiopia: Stigma and the Value of Condom Machines on Campus that he and colleagues have conducted. Some of it’s a bit technical, but the messages come through very strong. We’re really pleased to have to have provided the condom vending machines for this research (Twist2Vend – B5m and B5m2 models), and it’s good to know that such simple, low cost (and British made) machines could stand up so well to the rigours of a tropical environment, and make a positive contribution to improving sexual health in the African continent.

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

Noodle Idol

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.

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

Safety First!

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!

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

Free Wi-Fi

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!

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

Ohhhh…Japan

Yet again, Japan have made technological advances in the vending world the rest of us can but dream of.

Intel, Snaken and Okaya Electronics have taken the next step in touch screen vending machines. This latest incarnation boasts a 65-inch HD screen (!) and understated graphics so as to drawn people in with out being garish and obnoxious.

GizModo called it the “vending machine of tomorrow” thanks to the 65″ screen, which like its predecessors features a transparent screen so consumers can still see the product inside, whilst being entertained by a touch screen – similar to that on a smart phone – but with subtle animations of birds  that do not distract from he transparency of the machines touch controlled window.

To make this even more exciting and intuitive, the machine has an inbuilt camera to identify customers based on age and gender to therefore generate demographic appropriate adverts. What makes this machine extra special, is, should there be an emergency, it will display evacuation routes.

Although currently vending snacks and drinks, this machine could open up to a potential market including cosmetics and wine.

What do you think to this? Can you see super intuitive vending machines working over here England? Would you like to see adverts based on your gender or age? As ever, leave a comment below and let us know how you feel!!

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

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?

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

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.

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

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!

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd

French bread fresh from the vend!

A baker in France has come up with the ingenious idea that he can stock a vending machine with par-baked bread, which once selected is baked in an in-machine oven and delivered to the customer. Featuring a touch pad front plate, the machine promises to at least attempt to stave off France’s hunger pangs for bread in the middle of the night when traditional bakeries are close in a very simple way.

Due to french law, which says you cannot put preservatives into the nations favourite food, french baker Jean-Louis Hecht realised he could stock part baked bread – which stays fresh for up to 3 days – ready to be cooked when customers ordered it from the machine, allowing for fresh bread to be available 24 hours a day.

Hecht is planning on rolling these machines out across France, not to rival traditional bakeries but to compliment them, as he says “bakeries will have to adapt or die” in the current economic climate.

If you’re in France, or planning on visiting soon, keep an eye out for these new machines, which will no doubt be complimented by and installed alongside the wine vending machine we blogged about here!

 

Author: Intelligent Vending Ltd
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