Blog - Vending Overseas
November 7, 2019 – 9am
At Intelligent Vending we are always really excited at the prospect of new technology. Having designed our own innovative control platform we have a great respect for the time and imagination and precision it takes to produce something truly cutting edge. People in the Western world, on the whole, have a remarkable fascination with technology, the latest phones are always sold out within the first 24 hours, the latest tablets and drones are always on top of Santa’s wish list and the advances in virtual reality and video consoles always leave us mind blown and wanting more. As much as we love our gadgets and crave the leaps, year on year, that technology makes there is also a slight unrest when it comes to views on technology. Dealing with a lot of technical enquiries through our Intelligent Vending switchboard, people are genuinely blown away with the functionalities that they can potentially harness with our SiriuS™ and Juno™ end to end solutions, but talking to people on a more day to day level, as much as they like technology to play with, there are slight misgivings that the more advanced we become, the more likely we are to become redundant as a race. It is the time old concern (film, literature and media fuelled!) that “The robots are coming” . We already use robots and machines in place of people for a large number of fields; the service sector, the entertainment sector, the industrial and auto-mobile sectors, these are all programmable and fully automated. From 2018- 2019, the robotics industry grew as a whole and it has been reported by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) that the global robotics market rose to US$16.5 billion  in that time.
So how does a country like Japan, a pioneer in the technological world feel in regards to the slight nervousness we seem to possess in the West? In Japan, automation isn’t regarded as a threat to peoples jobs but more about the countries survival economically. In 2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled reforms with hopes that the robot market would reach $21 billion by 2020  and looking at the stats published by the IFR, that seems well on track. Reading a recent article by CNBC , their reporters explored different areas of the service industry in Japan and watched the interaction between the robot world and the human one. It seems that in Tokyo, the public enjoyed the novelty that the robots provided, but in regards to their suitability to assist with their practical needs this didn’t seem particularly harnessed. Which raises the question, are they actually a source of entertainment? Could this be a more accurate interpretation of their function? Are we merely fearful of fear itself? Reporters from CNBC could witness robots being utilised whilst consumers were queuing, to pass the time while they waited to engage with a person.
The Japanese, on the whole, are renowned for being truly fascinated by technology and love the gimmicks and interaction that it provides. For me, this gave me a little sense of reflection and comfort. In the West, creating life inevitably leads to destruction of the creator (Frankenstein, The Terminator, The book of Exodus) it is suggested that human vanity is constantly met by rebellion by its creation . There are many philosophies, predictions and conspiracy theories concerning the fate of our world, in films, literature and media and whether, with our thirst for and advancement in technology, we are actually pushing ourselves into economic and social extinction in an ‘End of Days’ scenario.
I never look upon technology as anything other than exciting and pioneering and I suppose that is also how the designers and manufacturers also view their robotic creations. Do I think “The robots are coming”? Yes, absolutely, in fact I think they are already here, but does that mean I think they are taking over? Hmmm… no…. not just yet, anyway.
Posted in: Intelligent Vending Ltd, Intelligent Wholesale, Juno, Next Generation Vending Machines, SiriuS, Vending Overseas
Tags: Cutting Edge Technology, Innovative Technology, Intelligent Vending, Intelligent Wholesale, Japanese Technology, Japanese Vending, Juno, SiriuS
October 25, 2013 – 12pm
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: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Posted in: Customised Vending, Intelligent Vending Ltd, Product News, Vending Machine News, Vending Overseas, Vending Service
Tags: alcohol vending machines, food and beverage hospitality services, hospitality vending services, hotel vending machines, Max-eBar
October 23, 2013 – 4pm
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.
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 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!
December 16, 2011 – 11am
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!!
November 28, 2011 – 2pm
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?
November 14, 2011 – 11am
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.
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.
November 10, 2011 – 11am
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 promoteÂ brand loyalty for Coke customers.Â 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.Â 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!