This Automated Vending Machine Is Trying To Compete With Amazon GO

This Automated Vending Machine Is Trying To Compete With Amazon GO
Retail

The kiosk developed by entrepreneur Tom Murn allows shoppers to take out and inspect items before purchasing

Leo Lutero
  • 1 may 2017

Artificial intelligence strongest appeal so far has been to assist humans in doing basic tasks or answering silly questions. Vicki, a revamped vending machine, uses artificial intelligence to convince you to buy from it. The machine looks a lot like a futuristic display shelf except its filled with smart sensors, biometrics and the (artificial) mind of a salesman. A report in Crains New York outlined how the contraptions works. Unlike the vending machine we find in crowded stops, this one doesn’t just drop items. Instead, it allows shoppers to pick up items, inspect them and put them back when they change their mind.

Before a shopper can open the Vicki’s main door, they must identify themselves. The choices to do so are plenty: iris scan, through a fingerprint, a credit card or a smartphone swipe. The machine will then open to allow access to products. As the prospective customer looks around, they might pick-up a drink, a bag of chips, a small pouch or any other item. The machine detects this and it can start playing an ad for the item. Like a trusty saleslady, Vicki can also answer questions: “Does this come with warranty?” or “Does this contain peanut products?”

Once the buyer chooses items, they can close Vicki’s doors. The machine will know what was taken out and charge the price to the identified user. It’s a very straightforward process and with AI, there’s even more ways to seal a purchase. The machine can offer discounts on complimentary items (like 50% off water when you purchase a snack).

A vending machine like Vicki couldn’t come sooner. E-commerce has continued to impact shopping behavior, closing down brick and mortar stores in the process. By using AI to assist customers, there is a huge opportunity for companies to maintain physical operations at a lower cost.

Tom Murn, CEO of vending machine giant Answer Group, is behind the Vicki and he says the demand is there. He disclosed to Crains New York that there are already 5,000 orders for the machine and he’s seat on producing 1,000 of them every month.

via Crains New York

Artificial intelligence strongest appeal so far has been to assist humans in doing basic tasks or answering silly questions. Vicki, a revamped vending machine, uses artificial intelligence to convince you to buy from it. The machine looks a lot like a futuristic display shelf except its filled with smart sensors, biometrics and the (artificial) mind of a salesman. A report in Crains New York outlined how the contraptions works. Unlike the vending machine we find in crowded stops, this one doesn’t just drop items. Instead, it allows shoppers to pick up items, inspect them and put them back when they change their mind.

+AI
+AI
+artificial intelligence
+biometrics
+retail
+shopper experience
+technology
+voice control

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