February 1st, 2019
By Jeff Adair, Editor

Convenience services operators can’t afford to sit still as Amazon Go and a host of other technology providers introduce automated convenience stores.

Amazon Go, an unattended store that uses artificial intelligence, biometric identification, smart shelf technology and cameras, allows shoppers to take items from shelves and exit without having to check out. The shopper's credit card is charged as they leave the store. Since Amazon Go debuted in late 2016, technology companies with similar concepts have emerged, five of which explained their benefits during a session at the recent NRF Big Show in New York City.

The unattended stores are similar to micro markets, the difference being that where a micro market sits inside of a building, the unattended store is usually a building unto itself. Some of the technologies presented during the NRF show could, however, be used in micro markets.

Amazon Go was cited as a competitive factor to vending and refreshment services during a technology panel discussion at the 2017 National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) show in Las Vegas. Some vending machines on display at the NAMA trade show demonstrated similar “intelligent shelf” capabilities.

Crane Merchandising Systems has launched CORA, a telemeter that enriches the Crane cashless portfolio with a custom designed 4G LTE antenna, integrated Bluetooth connectivity and seamless compatibility with all Crane-connected readers and touch screens.

Operators purchasing CORA with Crane Cashless will have the option to enable Bluetooth mobile payment through PayRange with no additional hardware.

CORA features high-powered magnets, simplified cabling and cable-locking connectors that eliminate the need for screws, zip ties and Velcro while a state-of-the-art single 4G LTE antenna exceeds carriers’ performance specifications.

Selecta Switzerland has improved its sales by as much s 30 percent as a result of a machine refurbishing that has also extended the machines’ lifespans.

The company recently became one of the first international vending operators to take advantage of Abbeychart’s refurbishing service as a way to prolong the lifespan of the company’s red vending machines while improving operating efficiency and driving additional sales.

Over a three-month period, Abbeychart designed, refurbished and tested 2,800 Selecta machines, sourcing unique components and introducing optical LED lighting to create a “next generation” look. The project included a deep clean; an aesthetic facelift; new outer skins; a new lighting scheme for the top cap; a product display area and a collection point. The project also included a telemetry system to improve functionality across payment options, including a new Selecta “find and pay” app.

recently launched robot food delivery services at George Mason University’s Fairfax, Va. campus. Mason’s 40,000 students, faculty and staff can access the Starship deliveries app to order food and drinks to be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes.

Blaze Pizza, Starbucks, Dunkin’ and 2 nd  Stop, a Sodexo-branded campus grocery store, are the first retailers to participate, with more to be announced. Each on-demand delivery costs just $1.99.

With a fleet of more than 25 robots at launch, this initiative is the largest implementation of autonomous robot food delivery services on a university campus and is representative of Sodexo’s next-generation technology portfolio for the college and university market. The service works in conjunction with student meal plans.

Got Tech News? Email Jeff Adair
National Sales Director / Editor
Call 847-331-4256
Reach over 10,000+ vending professionals!
Your are receiving this information because you have expressed interest in vending, office coffee and/or micro market convenience self-service industries. Sent to you by Vending Connection 1-800-956-8363.