Vending Technology News   - Brings You What You Need To Succeed!  October 15th, 2016
Vending Technology News
ACE Expo Oct 13-15 2016
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Chris Turner
After developing a micro market software, Chris Turner became a refreshment service operator.
It's not unusual for a refreshment service operator to come up with a new way to operate - be it a new type of machine, an inventory management system or a customer engagement tool - then provide their innovation to other operators. Such was the case for some of the first vending management software systems and the first micro markets, to name a few examples.
Less typical is when the reverse happens: a provider of a management system becomes a refreshment service operator.
Such is the case of Chris Turner, a software developer who recently became a refreshment service operator after creating a software tool that allows the operation of micro markets with less investment than other systems. It was never his intention to become an operator, but as businesses became aware of his app-based software, they wanted someone to deliver snacks using his software.  Hence, Turner's San Antonio, Texas-based business, SnackDot, is both a software service for managing micro markets (used by both operators and "self op" locations) and a refreshment service operation.

Mastercard Vending API
The Mastercard vending API allows developers to connect apps to its vending platform .

Mastercard has launched a new developer platform that includes a diverse range of application programming interfaces (APIs) that includes a vending API.
The Mastercard vending API helps developers connect a mobile app to its vending platform. Developers can enable app payment, loyalty solutions and gamification for vending machines.
Mastercard provides a simulator for developers to use to test apps. With the simulator, the developer does not need to use an actual vending machine to determine if the app is communicating with the machine.
The Mastercard software development kit (SDK) for the vending API includes an application server that allows customers to locate vending machines and validate payment. The app communicates via Bluetooth Low Energy.
Funds for payment are requested from the merchant server, leveraging the connectivity of the mobile device. Items are dispensed after funds are successfully loaded onto the vending machine.

Bitcoin RedBull Vending
The Red Bull machine is one of the few vending machines that accepts bitcoin.

Attendees at a recent hackers' conference in Prague, the Czech Republic, were able to buy Red Bull from a vending machine using bitcoin . The vending machine is one of several concepts that Red Bull has come up with to generate attention for its brand. Red Bull Media House, the company's  media arm, enjoys a reputation for its entertainment and informational marketing.
It makes sense that a company looking to be on the cutting edge of technology and social change would find its way to a hackers conference with a vending machine that accepts bitcoin, the leading virtual currency. 
The purpose of the Czech hackers conference, now in its third year, was to find new ways to support digital freedom and decentralization, which are among the benefits that digital currency offers.

To promote decentralization and "cryptoanarchy" in practice, the conference enticed paying with bitcoin. For those attendees who did not yet have bitcoins, the event provided a guide on how to get them. Attendees also were given the option of paying with a credit card or PayPal, which incurred a 5 percent transaction fee.

The Colosseo
The Colosseo has photo sensors to recognize products and verify dispensing.
MagexUSA, an Alps Innovations Group company, announced the introduction of the "Colosseo," a patented automated retailing system that has features never before seen in vending. The Colosseo has a unique double internal stocking system that allows up to 12 floors of varying heights. A robotic system transports products from shelves to the dispensing area. Photo sensors are able to recognize products and verify dispensing. For high-value items, special microchips can be added, ensuring security and validation. The Colosseo also has a self-diagnosis system that checks the operating status of the lane before product disbursement.
The system features an optional integrated web chat to provide customer assistance in real-time. This provides a personal service touch that is unmatched in traditional automated retailing and vending systems, and makes the system ideal for a variety of products.
The system comes with standard features that are expensive options on other automated retailing units, such as a camera kit, speakers, infra-red anti-vandal touchscreen, integrated dual-core high-speed industrial computer, shatter-proof glass, temperature control with recording, and continuous self-diagnostics.

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