The vending machines you use just got a little bit smarter today—as did your ability to understand more about products before you purchase. VendScreen, a Portland startup focused on retrofitting existing vending machines with Android touch screens, released their flagship product today, VendScreen Revolution, a wireless smart device.
“This is the most exciting project I have ever worked on,” said VendScreen cofounder Glenn Butler in a press release. “Our industry really needs a facelift to give consumers a better experience. We are not sure what the future holds, but we know we can expand this platform for the benefit of both customers and operators, and we worked hard to get it right.”
VendScreen Revolution™ comes equipped with everything needed to help vending machine operators win new accounts, including cashless payment acceptance, display of nutrition information and the ability to issue instant refunds. The device fits into the credit card slot of all modern vending machines and uses an Android platform to provide telemetry and credit card processing, which fully incorporates Near Field Communication (NFC) technology so consumers can use Google Wallet and Isis through their mobile phones to make vending machine purchases. VendScreen Revolution™ works over 3G cellular networks and gives consumers the ability to report problems using its intuitive touch screen interface. Consumers can request refunds via text message and instantly redeem them at any machine in the VendScreen network.
VendScreen is an alum of the PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) program, a collaboration among Wieden+Kennedy, startups, and leading brands. [Full disclosure: I work for PIE.] The VendScreen announcement comes as the startup accelerator draws near its annual PIE Demo Day, an unveiling of startups who have completed the three month accelerator program for investors, media, and the general public.