The smart multi-personality vending machine

This vending machine is unlike you have seen before. It is a telecom operator in a box. Minutes later it cures the chronic ill via an Uber for Doctors and saves public health care billions. Sell you a house. Be your bank. Anything is possible.

 

The vending machine we displayed at MWC 2017 was very special. It was the first app store enabled vending machine. The key app we were showing was the telecom social vending experience.

The telecom social vending experience

SocialVend‘s Vendmini is not a vending machine. It is a platform with an app store put inside a vending machine. The first addition to the vending machine was to insert a LimeSDR which allowed the Vendmini to be a base station and give 4G coverage. The Soracom social vending experience allowed anybody to get free Soracom IoT sim cards and to activate them. So like a telecom store it can sell sim cards. Other extensions can include a credit card reader so anybody can do top-ups of their prepaid account or setup post-paid billing. Add a camera and microphone and call centre agents can remotely help customers. At this stage the vending machine becomes a telecom operator in a box. Every week operators are able to add new functions.

Compare the telecom social vending experience to opening a new store in each commercial centre and setting up traditional base stations for coverage. The cost savings are enormous. At the same time when not in use the digital screen can be used for digital signage. So at the end the vending machine generates money each minute, whereas a store and a traditional base station cost a lot of money if nobody is using them.

Service the chronicle ill better via an Uber for Doctors

If you are as unlucky to be suffering from Asthma, Diabetes or any other chronicle illness, you spend hundreds of hours in doctor and hospital waiting rooms. Often to get medicines you already know how to administer yourself. So what about turning the social vending into a solution? Add specific medical extensions to measure oxygen levels in blood, analyse blood samples, listen to breathing, etc. Many of these can be offered via distributing one-time usable extensions that get plugged into the vending machine. A smart computer programme can guide the patient through a series of steps to measure correctly all the critical vital signs. At that moment an Uber request for a doctor will be launched. Whichever remote doctor wins the bid for the patient’s business will be able to remotely talk to them. The doctor can push a button and out comes the nebuliser medicine, steroids, insulin or whatever is needed.

Compare going to one vending machine and having a solution 5 minutes later, to driving to the closest accident and emergency unit. Parking. Waiting for hours between contagious ill patients. Occupying time of a nurse and doctor for at least 20 minutes. Driving to a pharmacy that is still open. Parking. Getting medicine. Often being ill for some days from the other deceases patients transmitted. Having doctors and nurses in hospitals in every major city is enormously expensive. By using an Uber for Doctors and Social Health Vending, patients, doctors and the national health care system will benefit. Pollution will go down. Less traffic jams and parking problems.

Other Social Vending Use Cases?

Via an iris scanner the vending machine can uniquely identify you. This means you can sign a mortgage or loan. Smart contracts might even make it a crowdfunded loan.

Exchanging physical money for crypto-currencies would allow the vending machine to make loans, accept deposits, transfer funds and soon become a bank in a box.

Probably your ideas are better than ours. So why don’t you share them in the comments.

If you want to buy or rent a vending machine with app store, be sure to contact SocialVend.

About the author

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Maarten Ectors is responsible at Canonical for Internet of Things, the next-generation of networking and cloud solutions that are in proximity of the user or at the edges of the network. Previously he was strategy director for cloud, big data and IoT. Maarten reports to Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical.

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