Most vending machines today focus on collecting money, providing change, and dispensing products. This limited functionality is largely due to machine architectures based on low-end microcontrollers that lack the compute power and ease of reprogramming needed to implement new services which vending operators, brands, and consumers are now demanding.
In trying to keep vending machine cost low, designers often focus on their particular component and fail to take a system level approach, which may actually result in a higher cost system.
An alternative approach is to combine all vending machine functions onto a single Intel® architecture processor-based board, which can actually be less expensive than all the boards it replaces. This also makes new feature integration easier, which is an important factor when making investment decisions that consider the suitability of machine designs into the future.
The Intel® IoT Retail Gateway Reference Design for Intelligent Vending provides a solution for re-architecting traditional vending machines into highly-capable, Internet-connected machines that can offer engaging consumer experiences, drive business transformation, support new transaction models, and reduce operating costs. The key building blocks include:
Add intelligence to vending machines by enabling them to connect to the Internet.
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