To most of our readers, it is not a secret that Japan is home to many of the world’s greatest and oddest vending machines. With over 5 million machines currently operating in the country, there are bound to be interesting innovations and unique machines.
Custom vending machines usually incorporate cutting-edge new technology or new mechanisms that allow them to do things your average vending machine would not be able to. Sometimes though, the simplest solutions are the best and a great idea is all you need to make something average stand out.
A very popular Japanese dish is curry and rice. This isn’t something your average snack machine could vend, but a small, red machine in a vending machine establishment in Japan dispenses hot servings of ready-to-eat curry and rice. The interesting thing about it is that this great vending “innovation” has been operating for almost 30 years!
The Japanese curry and rice vending machine serves vacuum-sealed packages of curry and rice that are kept warm inside the machine and the machine is operated by the man that personally grows the rice used in the machine. To ensure its freshness, the operator replaces the rice in this Japanese dispenser several times per day. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions applauds this vending entrepreneur for his commitment to delivering a unique and quality product!
Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado for several years. But, a new convenience for those with pot prescriptions has been unveiled: at a recent promotional event in Avon, Colorado, manufacturers presented custom vending machines that dispense pot.
The machine, which is known as the ZaZZZ uses biometrics to verify a customer’s age and confirm that he or she is over 21. The machines are climate controlled to keep the product inside fresh. The machine could be used to dispense edibles and smokable products on a self-serve basis to those who have medical marijuana cards. There are already machines that automate medical marijuana dispensing from behind the counter.
Custom vending for medicines, like cannabis where it’s legal, are a boon to both patients and medical professionals. The machines make inventory control a breeze, as every item dispensed is automatically counted. Many doctors offices and nursing homes have found these machines a convenient option, since patients can order medications right in the office. In a nursing home or other residential care environment, patients can have medications dispensed daily to ensure older patients remember their medications. These machines are also a boon to those who are embarrassed about medications they’ve been prescribed, whether they are marijuana, Viagra or medication for a yeast infection. When patients can get their medications without having to discuss their purchases, they are more likely to comply with their doctors’ orders.
Where self-serve medical marijuana vending machines fit into the picture, however, will remain to be seen. The first ZaZZZ machine has been placed in the Herbal Elements dispensary, but, as yet, does not have marijuana inside. The shop’s owners are still waiting for authorities to give self-serve the okay.
I love to see what new vending machines will pop up next across the country. Last week we discovered cupcakes. You can find gold in Dubai, fingernail painting in Japan, and instant pizza in Italy. But back here in America, in Boston to be more precise, you can purchase fresh new clothing from a smart vending machine. You never know when you might have a late night rendezvous or perhaps someone spilled coffee on your shirt. The temperature took a dip and you’re without a scarf. Whatever the case, you can find t-shirts, underwear, gloves, scarves, socks, and even shoes in the Automatic Apparel Vending Machine.
And just for the heck of it, you can purchase earbuds too from these clothing vending machines. Maybe someone swiped your headphones. It’s quite the nifty idea and I’m sure people around the rest of the country wouldn’t mind enjoying the convenience of some new threads without having to run into a store. It’s convenient for after hours or when there are no clothing stores nearby. I think this idea could really expand though to offer a bit more of a selection.
If you’re willing to take this idea and run with it, contact IDS about creating a smart clothing vending machine system.
Employers are looking for innovative ways to make workplaces safer while reducing lost productivity due to employee absenteeism. As part of this effort, many employers are exploring the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions’ patent-pending UVend Technology makes the high-touch surfaces of dispensing machines and lockers safer by quickly killing or inactivating some of the most common viruses and bacteria, including influenza and the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2).
UVend Technology has been independently tested by accredited third-party testing labs to generate UV light within the germicidal frequencies and with enough power to be effective in sanitizing surfaces. The UVC light used in UVend Technology is the same UVC technology that is in use by healthcare organizations, schools, prisons, retailers and the transportation and hospitality industries.
UVend Technology features an automated motion sensor and visible blue light. The motion sensor ensures no presence is detected in front of the machine before activating and the blue light indicates quick sanitization is in process, allowing the machine’s keypad and delivery door to be sanitized after almost every use.
Additionally, UVend Technology can be added within locker compartments to sanitize products in between uses. For example, in addition to manually disinfecting reusable hard hats after each use, UVend Technology can be placed inside a Supply Locker compartment to kill or inactivate viruses on the surface of the product. Employees can rest assured that the products they are using are safe to use with little to no viruses and bacteria.
Employees within organizations want to know that the products they are touching are clean, especially if it has been handled by other people. Many offices utilize lockers for IT equipment, such as laptops. When an employee from the IT department goes to grab a laptop to be worked on, they should not have to worry about how clean it is. This is where UVend Technology comes into play.
Whether your employees need IT equipment, electronic devices or personal protective equipment (PPE) to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively, we recognize they can’t take a break from being safe when securing those critical supplies. Give the employees within your organization peace of mind that the products they are accessing are safe and that your equipment features UVend Technology.
To find out more about UVend Technology, click HERE.
The technology behind smart supply vending machines has changed a lot over the years. As we discussed last week, many machines are accepting credit and debit cards to make purchasing even easier. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is all about making unique, simple machines that gives customers the best possible experience. One “newer” technology that is popping up a lot in drink vending machines is the belt and conveyor mechanism.
The conveyor belt vending machines are best used for those just selling drinks. One of the big problems of the traditional drop-down drink dispensing machine is that the drink will be shaken. And we all know the dangers of a shaken soda. It’s always a risky endeavor as you twist off that cap or pop that tab. The last thing you want to do is create a bad experience for the customer. Although it is not directly your fault, some might be less inclined to buy a drink and maybe go to just the snack machine instead. But this entire mess can be avoided by opting for the conveyor vending machine that dispensing drinks.
At Intelligent Dispensing Solutions, there are plenty of options to create custom vending machines to provide users with great vending experiences. No matter what items you are selling, they can make it easy to buy.
Keeping track of your vending machines’ inventory is a vitally important part of maintaining strong sales: No one wants to see a half-stocked machine, and when an item is really popular, you want to make sure levels stay high so you can take advantage of that popularity.
There are three primary ways to track and control inventor:
- Go “old school” and track by hand: Grab that clipboard and pen and get to counting. Tracking by hand may have once been the standard, but by today’s standards, it’s tedious and an unproductive use of time.
- Use a spreadsheet: Excel offers lots of customizability and it’s certainly more efficient than keeping track by hand. But this method still requires manual entry, and that means it can still be time-consuming.
- Tap into vending machine inventory tracking and management technology: IDS’ iQ technology vending machines represents the most advanced inventory tracking system available for vending machine operators. iQ lets you track your inventory remotely from your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone – any device that has an Internet connection. You can even check the income from cashless machines that let customers use credit cards to securely make purchases.
Inventory control has come a long way in the last few years. Using an inventory tracking system like iQ lets vending business owners spend less time counting stock and more time building a successful vending business.
Summer has made its official start as of last weekend, and now is a better time than ever to make a refrigerated vending machine a part of your business.While just about any type of vending machine will do well when surrounded by customers soaking up the sun, your vending unit will do especially well if you have the luxury of being near a beach area. Beach boardwalks are always full of exciting attractions, so why not make your beach vending machine one of the most alluring?
Intelligent Dispensing Solutions prides itself on providing near-endless possibilities, and that goes double if you’re lucky enough to operate on a boardwalk. While the thought of a “beach boardwalk vending machine” instantly conjures up imagines of classic drink and snack machines, it could be so much more. Think of the products that beach-goers typically go after, like summer clothing, goggles, float devices, and sand toys. While these goods might have never been associated with beach vending machines in the past, we can help you vend them automatically to all types of customer bases!
All types of people plan on hitting the beach this summer seeking the most fun experiences of the season. With the help of our beach boardwalk vending machines, you can provide service on the beach like never before!
While we are no strangers to innovation here at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions, we are constantly wowed by the great strides made by our ever-expanding industry. While cashless transactions have been around for years, the recent integration of social media into the commerce world has given the term “cashless” a whole new meaning. According to Vending MarketWatch, American Express has conceived a way for consumers to make purchases simply by using Twitter.
By syncing an eligible card to sync.americanexpress.com/twitter, customers can make full purchases just by using hashtags on a Twitter vending machine. This concept first appeared on Twitter last March, and social media-savvy shoppers can currently purchase American Express Gift Cards and select items from Amazon, Sony, Xbox, and more.
“We’re leveraging our unique technology and closed-loop network to introduce a seamless solution that redefines what’s possible in the world of social commerce,” said Leslie Berland, a senior vice president at American Express.
The vending industry only gets more creative and convenient as vending machine manufacturers figure out how to take their products into new and exciting territories. We are constantly inspired by these innovations here at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions and are happy to create a completely custom vending machine that is tailored to your needs. Whether you want the most durable custom vending machine in the business or you are looking to create the vending product of the future, we have you covered.
A few weeks ago we highlighted American Express’s new Twitter interactivity, and the age of social media innovation has just begun. The vending machine business continues to find new and interesting ways to merge with the vending industry and now seems like a better time than ever to have your own Twitter account. According to a video showcased by Vending Marketwatch, customers will be able to purchase Hot Wheels toy cars simply by using social media creatively.
Developed by TrojanOne, the Hot Wheels Camaro-Matic Trending Machine is a one-of-a-kind vending product. Developed out of a collaboration between Hot Wheels and Chevrolet Canada, the machine was created to celebrate the release of the Chevrolet Camaro at the Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto last week. Any guest that tweeted @HotWheelsCanada with the hashtag #ChevyCIAS would receive a complimentary limited-time diecast Hot Wheels car.
Tweeting for vending products is a new trending topic, but it certainly has the potential to stick around for a while. While custom vending machines such as the one made by TrojanOne seem right out of the future, these types of innovations are brewed up every day by the vending machine manufacturers at IDS. No matter your vending vision, Intelligent Dispensing Solutions can make it a reality.
Apparently children aren’t inundated enough with health advice from their schools, parents, and their government. Now custom vending machines are popping up dishing out advice too. And maybe that’s a good thing since many children and parents alike still don’t seem to understand the importance of healthy food choice. In Utah, the Intermountain Healtcare setup fake vending machines in elementary schools. The machines are filled with fake snacks that do not dispense. Nor will it rob your child of his lunch money.
Instead, when the buttons are pushed, the machine offers bits of wisdom to promote healthy eating and turn your child’s viewpoints around when it comes to snacking. Although said in a fun way, you can’t ignore the scary advice of the machine, “I’m a vending machine and can’t move without someone’s help. Keep buying food like this and we’ll have that in common.” Funny, but true. The purpose is to create a fun and interactive way to tell your kids to stop eating those chocolate bars and to lay off the cans of soda.
It’s a clever idea and maybe we’ll soon see these custom vending machines giving health advice to kids popping up over the rest of the country. The more innovative ways we can teach children about making good food decisions, the better. Take a look at the machine in action.