Smart glasses for vending route drivers

A US based vending company claims that it has been able to reduce their route driver work time while improving inventory accuracy using “smart glasses” called RoutSight.

The vending company needed to replace their old route handhelds and realised they could replace them by switching to a wearable technology solution – the glasses allowed for more efficiency by being hand-free rather than still needing to hold a device to service a machine.

The glasses work by sending visual and audio messages to the person wearing the glasses, instructing them on which products to take from the van. The system then provides the driver with a heads‐up display which allows them to view product information while they load the machines. The driver can enter inventory counts and spoils using voice commands while their hands are free to load the machines. They also display visual notices and special requests, so the driver can make corrections as they are servicing the machine.

The company claims that the drivers that have switched to the glasses were able to save roughly half an hour per day after two weeks.  They added that: “Inventories in the machines improved immensely and this was quantified by the reduction in (inventory) ‘bring back’ on those routes and the increase in the fill percent in the machines.  Filling the machines accurately allowed us to achieve a 26% reduction in sellouts and over 25% reduction in bring backs.”

Wearing the glasses need some getting used to, but the majority of drivers felt comfortable after a couple of days training.  Apparently, there is an up front cost and a monthly fee, but perhaps this could be justified by the improvement claimed above and the time savings by the drivers.

Thirst Link on the look-out for what’s new for the HoReCa market

EVOCA has recently introduced two new machines for the HoReCa market which, in our opinion, look pretty smart.

The Krea Touch is indeed a good-looking machine, created by “a subtle fusion of decorative lighting, chrome and black gloss”. It has a user-friendly interface and a 7” HD touch screen shows the consumer a comprehensive drinks menu, as well as allowing on-screen branding and customisation. It also has the capability to play videos, both in stand-by mode and to accompany specific drinks selections.

When things go wrong, the machine has a built-in wi-fi feature which, when connected to the Internet, can be set to send an email alert if there is a machine fault.

EVOCA’s second new machine is the Necta Kalea, which the company is marketing as their answer to having “an authentic, Italian coffee experience, complete with fresh milk”.

As with the Krea, the machine appears to be both user and operator friendly and it too boasts a 7” HD touch screen and video capability.

Seen but not heard…

A new coffee and espresso machine has been described as the ‘most silent coffee machine’ for the workplace by its manufacturers, Macchia Valley.

The “Nevis” has two bean holders each with a capacity of 1kg and a 4 litre water tank contained in a sleek design made from stainless steel and features a colour touchscreen interface.

The machine would be most welcome in an office or meeting room where a noisy machine would be distracting.  The company’s sales director, Chris Rapp said: “We have found smart ways to bumper and cover internally the grinding motors, as we feel that today in the 21st century there’s no need for a loud coffee machine in the workplace.”

Hear, hear!

Hot food vending

We are always on the look out for new hot food vending providers and Mr Lee’s Noodle Kiosks have caught our interest.  The kiosks serve hot, ready meals 24/7, providing consumers with fast, healthy hot food options at the push of a button.

The cashless, water-injected, ambient instant noodle vending machines vend its own brand of 100% natural, gluten-free, hot cup noodles and the company has plans to place these vending machines in hospitals, universities, and airports where demand is high for food on the go.

Mr Lee’s has recently secured a partnership with catering contractor, Compass Group and this year the company will also begin a pilot program with Elior and are in negotiations with vending company, Selecta.


Westomatic launch its new vending machine

Vending company Westomatic has launched a new Sigma Café coffee machine with a 20-inch media screen, the largest in its range.

The larger screen allows even more advertising potential by being able to play video adverts, company messages, and promotional images with the aim to increase retail vending sales.There is also the opportunity to customise the machines with a brand of the client’s choice.

There is a 12 touch sensitive button menu selection using the latest technology to create an easy-to-use and simple method of selecting a drink. The menu can also be customised with additional options to give customers extra variety.



Fuji enters Bean-to-Cup market

Making an entry into the American bean-to-cup commercial brewer market, Fuji is introducing a coffee machine called BeanBrew.

The smart looking machine grinds the coffee beans to a fine and uniform consistency, one cup-at-a-time. The brewing process involves steaming and pressing the beans to extract maximum flavour and aroma.

BeanBrew uses simple push buttons for easy operation, making it ideal for offices and hotels, and at convenience stores where 24/7 access to fresh coffee is required without the need for a dedicated attendant.

Mars Drinks launches single-serve brewer for the office

The Mars Drinks “Flavia Creation 500” is the latest model in the company’s range of premium, single-served brewers for the workplace.

The range includes both plumbed and pour-over options for easy placement in multiple office locations, and brews premium cappuccinos, lattes and mochas, plus coffees, teas and hot chocolate in less than a minute at the touch of a button.  There is also an option for brewing soup and thankfully, the company’s patented brewing process ensures no cross-over in flavour from one drink to the next!  So no coffee tasting like soup then!

The new brewer looks compact and modern and is reported to be reliable and easy to maintain.




Coffee – from a tablet

Coffee machine manufacturer Jura has introduced a new device that will allow consumers to make the perfect brew straight from their tablet.

The “Jura Smart Connect” affixes to the coffee machine and uses Bluetooth communication to wirelessly operate the machine from a tablet computer. By downloading the Jura Connect iOS or Android App onto any tablet, users can set up personal coffee preferences such as strength, temperature and cup size.

The new app – which will be available from spring 2016 – also features graphics and automatic machine status updates to ensure that it is providing optimum performance.


Coffee on tap

There are lots of very innovative ideas out there and one of them is from a Danish manufacturer that has created an app-enabled hot tap that creates a variety of coffee drinks from freshly ground beans at the touch of a button.

With its built-in brewer, the tap allows users to customise drink settings, from the amount of coffee to the type of milk. The tap is controlled by a smartphone app, can brew a cup in 15 seconds and includes the smallest milk foamer we have ever seen in its tip.

A French fry vending machine

The Dutch company Caenator has developed a new automated vending machine that dispenses French fries – freshly fried!

The machine, which is apparently soundless and odour-free, can produce a batch of fries in 110 seconds.  It has a freezer compartment capable of holding 25kg of frozen fries and has a very clever system that can weigh and hold a portion of fries ready to be cooked in a special refrigerated area. Then, once fried, they are lifted to the dispenser, while a double door separates the hot section of the machine from the freezer, sauces, and screen.

According to the company behind it, “caterers and bar and restaurant owners see the machine as a way to retain or increase their turnover. Public transport companies see the machine as a way to make waiting less annoying. For various budget hotels, it is a way to offer a service to their guests”.