Interactive Vending machine
Seamless integration of vending machine operation and touch application
Drink machines have come a long way over the years. Modern vending machines use cutting-edge technology and outside-the-box creativity to dispense more than drinks – entertaining, engaging and refreshing consumers with every transaction. In 2013 Swire Beverages Hong Kong had a plan to transform their vending machines into something fun and innovative – interactive touch-based vending machines – and install them in public areas around Hong Kong.
onActivity made these interactive vending machine with content management, combining digital advertising, public information & wayfinding applications with the normal functionality of a vending machine. The media controller in each interactive vending machine is running DISE digital signage software. Media content layers including video background, advertising media, icons, news ticker text are all composed natively in the authoring tool by DISE. Content managers are trained to maintain the content and layout changes, like shopping mall logo, advertising video and way-finding information. Additional user interfaces are also provided for the service labour to handle their routine work like drinks type switching.
The most challenging part of the project is how to turn the original electronics and mechanics of the hardware to talk to a media controller. The vending operations including drink selection, payment request, drink dispensing, payment change, and error handling have been supported by a proprietary controller that only deal with buttons and lights conventionally. The team has developed the complete state machine logic by the powerful data connection tool by DISE. The result is a seamless integration of vending machine operation to responsive screen logic. This high level of customization and system integration is something that has never been achieved before.
- Touch application