By Jeremy Hsu
Most vending machines seem stubbornly stuck in the 20th century. Intel sees an opportunity to change that sad state of affairs by transforming vending machines into Internet-connected devices. Such a solution could enableintelligent vending machines to continuously update their advertising displays and send wireless alerts requesting a refill when they run low on Coca-Cola or potato chips.
The typical “dumb” vending machine has a basic microcontroller to manage payment, dispensing products, refrigeration, and lighting control. Intel recently unveiled a hardware and software upgrade package, named the Intel IoT Retail Gateway Reference Design for Intelligent Vending, that adds PC-based computing “brains” to vending machines. Vendor companies can use Intel’s technology to either retrofit existing vending machines or provide a smarter platform for new machine designs. …[Read more]
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