Evolution: The rising intelligence of ‘vending machines’

Last Updated: April 18th, 2020

Evolution: The rising intelligence of ‘vending machines’

In the 1950s, vending machines finally did not just stop at spitting our gumballs, and were able to dispense everything from candy bars to beer cans. Back then this alone was seen as an evolutionary step for the hungry man’s favorite machine.

The decades which followed didn’t see much change in the loom and feel of a vending machine in the United States. Much to people’s relief, that change is now being made visible in the form of intelligent or “smart” vending machines.

Today more and more decades-old such machines are being replaced with their newer and better version. These smart machines can do a lot more than just dispense beverages after sucking-in your cash. Instead, they can store your cash.

Smart vending machines, which also come with an interactive LCD touch-sensitive display, now have an option to register new users and log them in. Then you can link your vending account with a bank account and transfer cash from your bank to your account in the form of cloud cash to be used exclusively while you are at a smart vending machine. The amount of your purchase will be deducted from the cash that have in store.

Furthermore, they even allow you to check out the list of your past purchases and suggest your food which matches your pattern of buying.

One new technology that is expected to soon hit US markets is what we are so used to calling otherwise as social media extensions. That’s right, soon you will be able to connect to your nearest smart vending machine via your Facebook credentials and may even be able to make a purchase for your friend. All that your friend will need to do is walk up to any vending machine, login, and there he will find his care package waiting!

What is even more interesting is the growing visibility of smart vending machines dispensing computer hardware within the offices of technology giants like Facebook and Google. Both the firms today have vending machines in their headquarters in California which dispense electronic replacement items such as a mouse, keyboard and in some cases even an iPod. And this list is only expected to grow.

This is clearly an experimental trend by both the firms and rumor has it that both the tech firms are planning t introduce their own versions of smart vending machines to the public. If that happens, we may be able to witness the next evolutionary step for vending machines where they leap into dispensing complete sets of consumer products.

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