New Chapter for Vending Machines
May 17, 2016
You may be more used to picking up a quick snack from a vending machine, but around the world, the way vending machines are being used is moving far beyond just that simple function. The latest development comes from a company called Machine Supply – and its machines supply books, not food.
Food for thought?
Initial reaction might be to think that a vending machine for books is a bit robotic. It might take away the human element of purchasing (or renting) a book from a store with knowledgeable staff or librarians. This book vending machine however is stocked with books recommended by its users and is also connected to the Internet of Things, and is social media ready – it actually tweets every time a book is dispensed.
Other adaptations of vending machines, have seen farmers able to sell their produce to local communities 24/7. And there is the example of a butcher in Paris who now sells fresh meat around the clock using specially refrigerated vending machines. Machine Supply is the first example of a company selling books via vending machines that we have seen though.
Adapting Vending Machines
Book vending machines could be a fun addition to any library. Here at BioStore, we believe vending machines can play an interesting and effective role in cashless solutions. We can provide vending machines that instead of using cash, can accept payments from a school or personal account via a scan of a biometric fingerprint or dedicated smartcard. And even better, we can update and adapt existing vending machines to accept the same cashless payments too.
At the moment, BioStore uses this technology to integrate vending machines into our school or company cashless catering systems. This enables users at a school or office to grab a snack from a vending machine while maintaining a completely cashless site. The payment is instead pulled from a personal online account that is linked to the user’s identity.
We already use our systems to manage school libraries, making the loaning and returning of school books simple and fast. But this latest development suggests vending machines could become a fun and engaging addition to libraries however, and would be another example of how BioStore’s Identity Management solution is for much more than just cashless catering.