Intel Corp. showed a few of the developments in its “intelligent vending” initiative during this year’s National Retail Federation trade show in New York. Intel’s work with international coffeehouse Costa Coffee (the UK’s largest coffeehouse chain) was a centre of attention at the show. The new CEM-200 is a full-height kiosk that delivers freshly ground and brewed espresso coffee and coffee beverages, prepared with fresh milk when appropriate, in a variety of portion sizes. It incorporates brewing technology by Swiss foodservice brewer manufacturer Thermoplan and a comprehensive control package built around Intel’s Core i7 -3517UE processor with integrated high-definition graphics.
The counter can record “dwell time,” the duration of a patron’s attention to the screen; this gauges his or her interest in an advertising message. The touchscreen user interface and cashless payment options offer consumers many options that can be exercised easily, including the ability to make multiple purchases in one transaction. It also can display informational messages — that the machine dispenses the genuine Costa Mocha Italia coffee made famous by the company’s coffee shops, for example, or on-demand nutritional content facts.
Another vending development was the latest PepsiCo Interactive Vending machine. The venders serve as intelligent nodes in a wide-area network, and offer patrons not only a choice of payment options but a number of options designed to increase engagement and promote repeat traffic.
For example, users of any Pepsi interactive machine have the ability to purchase a drink for a distant friend by emailing or texting a gift code to him or her (recipients can reciprocate from any other interactive machine). Patrons also are offered the opportunity to play an onscreen random-chance game, customised for mall shoppers, simply by making a purchase. Mastering the game issues a code redeemable for a free 20-fl.oz. beverage immediately or at the winner’s convenience at any Pepsi Interactive Vending machine. Customers also have access to complete nutritional information about the products available.