By Andrew Liszewski
Samsung had one of these ‘uVending’ machines on display at their booth, and while the coolest part was the free aluminum Coke bottles they were dispensing (completely ‘sold out’ 2 seconds before I got there) the concept of a ‘smart vending machine’ does show some promise. The large touch screen display provides a far better way to show off the product you’re selling, or to grab someone’s attention, and it even facilitates more advanced purchasing options like credit or debit cards via on-screen keypads and keyboards. The uVending machines are also network and wifi enabled, which means you can monitor stock before the machine runs out of product or update the information and GUI on the display remotely. I particularly like the anti-vandalism features which include a shock sensor which will project a warning if it detects a disturbance, and a built-in camera to capture potential vandals in the act.