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Advantages of Smart Vending Machine | disadvantages of Smart Vending Machine

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of IoT based Smart Vending Machine. It mentions benefits or advantages of Smart Vending Machine and drawbacks or disadvantages of Smart Vending Machine.

What is IoT based Smart Vending Machine?

We have seen vending machines which dispense snacks, biscuits and drinks when we insert currency as per pre-programmed GUI (Graphical user Interface). Now-a-days vending machines offer many more things to consumers. As these machines are connected with IoT network, they are called smart vending machines.

Using such smart vending machines, consumers can buy clothes, gifts, plants, luxury cars and so on. IoT based such machines help retailers sell their products around the clock and offer greater convenience to consumers. Vending machines are installed on street corners, raiway stations, airports, outside offices and so on. The machines consist of digital displays which offer entertaining experiences to users.

IoT based smart vending machine architecture
Figure-1 : Smart Vending Machine Architecture

Figure depicts network architecture of smart vending machines. Using such architecture, vendors can manage different types of machines from anywhere and at anytime. As shown, these IoT based smart vending machines offer various value added services which include bill payment, social media interactions (facebook, twitter, instagram), news feed, games, information on weather, etc. Let us understand working of smart vending machines.

In this system, machines are connected with IoT gateway which interfaces with internet cloud either through wifi or through cellular interface. The user can access the vending machine directly using its display or using mobile app or web app. If user uses mobile or web app, it asks to enter machine code which will get validated through API. Transactions can be carried out using wallet payments, credit or debit cards or top up payments. The mobile app or web app will have many features such as vending machine operator registration, addition/deletion of machines and so on.

The single cloud ecosystem allows all the partners to benefit from this architecture. It include OEM, landlords, stock, retailers, advertisers, investors, consumers etc. For example, using such machines, landlords can easily collect rents. suppliers can have real time stock statistics, service team can have access to their records and schedules and so on.

Benefits or advantages of Smart Vending Machine

Following are the benefits or advantages of Smart Vending Machine:
➨It offers real time usage reporting to vendors which helps them to keep sufficient items in the machine by monitoring inventory all the time.
➨The consumers will avail hasslefree services from machines 24x7 and vendors also benefit around the clock.
➨It creates job opportunities in many segments. Companies will need software and hardware engineers to develop such machines. Vending operators need staff to fill the items in the machines using various transportation mediums. Vending operators also require staff to manage the entire IoT based system from centralised location. It creates opportunities for application developers and banking staff.
➨It benefits retail industry, medical, entertainment & hospitality, credit/debit card banks, electronic component manufacturers, vending machine manufacturers, transportation segments and so on.
➨Expenses can be tracked automatically using mobile app or web app from cloud based web reporting.
➨It eliminates many drawbacks of old vending machines accepting coins.
➨It lowers downtime of IoT vending machines by taking proactive action to fix issues at appropriate time. All the information of functioning and non functioning machines are available. Alerts & notifications are generated whenever machine malfunctions.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Smart Vending Machine

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Smart Vending Machine:
➨These vending machines are prone to hacking by wise hackers. This leads to theft of items and access to consumer banking transactions.
➨The smart vending machines are expensive which requires higher initial investments. Moreover it requires higher operational expenses and maintenance cost.
➨It requires skilled staff to repair the smart vending machines.

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