In the States, a smart vending machine called the Pantry, that stores fresh, healthy snack options, raised $1.3 million to let businesses offer employees more than confectionery and bags of crisps.
The units come equipped with a Google Android tablet attached with a credit card reader so hungry customers can swipe and pay for food. Through radio frequency identification technology, Pantry can detect what item was taken out and automatically charge the user’s card. From a food monitoring and re-stocking standpoint, Pantry’s technology tracks snack inventory to let companies know when machines should be restocked.
The vending machine had successful pilot programmes at Stanford Hospital and UCSF, which now want to deploy more of the fridges. The company hope to eventually move into fast-casual restaurant spots where it will dispense recently made salads and sandwiches to help ease the lunch-hour rush.