Commentary

Vending Machine Of The IoT: Touch Screen, Facial Recognition, Targeting Advertising

Vending machines are joining The Internet of Things.

And these are hardly traditional snack vending machines, since they come loaded with networked and interactive capabilities.

These include targeted advertising, facial recognition, touch screens, data analysis and inventory tracking, all used in the simple process of purchasing a snack.

I got a demonstration of the vending machine at the NRF Big Show in New York this week.

A consumer can use the 46-inch touch screen on the front of the machine to view a product in 3D, spin it around and get nutritional information. They can add multiple products to the cart before paying to check out.

But there are more networking things going on behind the scenes.

When a purchase is made, the information is instantly sent via the cloud to a central location where the monitoring of each sale in a town, city or country can be seen on a map in real time.

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For replenishment, the distributor can see exactly what’s needed in each machine.

The company behind the Diji Touch vending machine is Mondelez, one of the world’s largest snack makers, along with Microsoft, whose Windows 10 operating system powers it.

Most interestingly, there’s a camera inside the top of the vending machine and rotating ads run in a large space at the top of the machine.

Using the camera and facial recognition to identify the demographics of the consumer in front of the machine, the advertising at the top changes to be most relevant to each snack buyer.

From a market testing standpoint, ads can be tested in real time and measured against the immediate product purchase.

Just as consumers will be seeing more and more of these types of IoT devices sprout up in the marketplaces, many of these devices will have cameras and they also will be watching the market.

4 comments about "Vending Machine Of The IoT: Touch Screen, Facial Recognition, Targeting Advertising".
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  1. David Mountain from Marketing and Advertising Direction, January 21, 2016 at 9:54 a.m.

    Countdown to people wearing Guy Fawkes masks smashing vending machines in 3, 2...

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 21, 2016 at 12:22 p.m.

    Astute, David.

  3. c w from SYNDASEIN, January 21, 2016 at 1 p.m.

    I would se the difficulty as the "legal privacy issues" in all the different markets, but otherwise things like this are to be expected. The price of the technology has been the only thing hindering implementation. Prototypes have been around for at least 20 years. I was involved in some of the research proving the effectiveness of this kind of customer engagement. Determining the tradeoffs betwwen local and distribituted intelligence for the application is one opportunity. Anti vandalism implications and joint information sahring with enforcement, whether private or public, will be an intersting discussion.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 21, 2016 at 6:36 p.m.

    You're right, CW, these types of machines have been shown in past years, especailly at NRF and Digital Signage shows. Kind of goes along the path of mobile payments at vending machines.

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