Aaeon, a developer of industrial computers and intelligent retail systems, has released an updated version of its Intelligent Vending Development Kit.
The kit includes a vending machine controller unit, a separate UP board PC unit to handle the interactive retail functions, a motor for the machine's internal mechanisms, a camera, a QR Code device, and all the cables needed to connect these components. Additional WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity components are also available on request.
Aaeon is now offering two versions of its Intelligent Vending Development Kit, but both come with the Windows 10 IoT Enterprise OS and a customer-friendly API pre-installed, the vendor said. The kits also utilize the power of the UP board and its Intel Atom x5-z8350 processor and DDR3L memory to manage a facial recognition program.
Accordig to Aaeon, as a customer approaches the vending machine, an image of their face is captured and their age range, gender and mood are detected. Based on the results, a particular set of products are recommended. Crucially, the process happens almost instantaneously, so there is no risk of the customer being inconvenienced.
The latest version of the development kit also incorporates Microsoft Azure and Power BI services. With this service, information about every product sold and the gender, age range and mood of each buyer is collated by Azure and broken down by Power BI's data analytics tools. The result is real-time inventory control information and a series of insightful customer behavior reports and charts that operators can access at any time. Users who buy this version of the development kit will also receive a 60-day free trial for the Power BI Pro service.
"Intelligent vending machines represent the future of automatic retailing," AAEON design manufacturing product manager Brenda Huang said. "Increasingly, customers are both expecting and relying on intelligent, interactive systems, and the data these machines collect will also give businesses an edge over their competitors."