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Food meets Technology: The Vending Machine of the Future

From wireless appliances to interactive ovens, food related technology is developing at an increasingly rapid pace—and believe it or not, vending machines are also going digital.

The new “Digi-Touch” vending machine was created by the National Automated Merchandising Association (NAMA) along with Kraft Foods, Crane Merchandising Systems, Samsung, and Next Generation Vending and Foodservice, Inc.. Recently, NAMA sent 20 of their latest technological developments on the Gratitude Tour, a traveling exhibition of the machines where patrons have the ability to interact with the machines and receive free products. Earlier this week, the tour stopped by Peavey Park in downtown Minneapolis—we had to check it out!

These state of the art vending machines resemble giant iPads—with a 46-inch Samsung LCD touch screen panel featuring animated advertisements and bold images of available products. Once a product is selected, the image of the item is enlarged on the screen and the consumer can decide to read the nutritional information or to purchase the product. Customers may even select multiple items and pay in one transaction. These devices look neat, but they’re also eco-friendly with their LCD display and energy efficient insulation.

It’s not just the customers who will be reaping the benefits of this newly developed technology. Digi-Touch’s built-in software allows vendors to receive a report of all interactions and transactions—helping them keep a more accurate inventory of their products.

It’s important for all industries to stay up to date with technological advancements as brands constantly seek out more engaging ways to communicate and connect with their consumers. These interaction-inspiring vending machines will definitely be an innovation to keep your eye open for!

 

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