By Andre Rousselot

The adoption of IoT and smart technologies in industrial and manufacturing settings is well established, but the trend toward digitalization is expected to increase even more in the coming years: intelligent machines are going to change the way we consume and experience the world.

The evolution of the machines and displays we interact with daily, often without even paying attention to, will be at the heart of this transformation. Not only smartphones and computers, but automatic checkouts at the supermarket, beverage dispensers in the office, and interfaces to manage machinery at work will have to evolve. The interaction between increasingly intelligent machines and humans will become more immediate and natural.

The latest developments in Digital Signage and Vending Machines are a case in point of the digital revolution underway: they will revolutionize the way businesses handle customer relations and the customer experience in general.

AI for Digital Signage and Vending Machines

The term “Digital Signage” refers to digital displays used in commercial contexts: usually a network of screens, centrally managed but locally customizable. The signs can be used to provide information, promote products or enhance the shopping experience. AI-based digital signage implemented with cameras, microphones, sensors and integrated into a digital network could quickly examine the characteristics of the person in front of it and suggest a product to buy; or, it could show how a dress might look when worn; or, better yet, it could display a message that changes with the gestures and behaviours of passers-by, for a unique promotional experience. For companies, it means being able to make the customer experience more pleasant, to change promotions in a few moments, and to have direct information about users.

Given the latest developments in digital signage, the distance between digital signage and vending machines is shortening: sophisticated digital signage can become automatic checkouts or interfaces for more complex vending machines. However, vending machines maintain a unique role in direct sales to consumers and the market is growing.

Up until a few years ago, despite technological progress, most vending machines were the same as they were thirty years ago: these were old, error prone machines with minimal ability to interact with the user. In recent years, however, due to the technological acceleration brought on by the pandemic among other things, a new kind of vending machine has emerged. These new machines are interconnected devices in an IoT network, implemented with AI and sophisticated digital displays. They are smart, fast, and can collect large amounts of data by tracking customers’ shopping habits more accurately, automatically managing inventory, and simultaneously creating a stimulating shopping experience for the customer.

The right technology for smart machines

Building smart appliances goes through the implementation of suitable software and HMI, such as advanced AI, touch displays and platforms to manage and process data. This is where SECO technology stands out; SECO manufactures countless products for Data Science, AI and Edge Computing applications. Thanks to its expertise in building IoT systems and sophisticated sensors, SECO manages to develop highly innovative solutions for Digital Signage and Vending Machines, both hardware and software.

Get in touch with us and know more about Clea.

SECO’s platform for leveraging smart device data, Clea, is a flexible and powerful tool, great for helping Digital Signage and Vending companies digitally transform their devices. Combined with SECO’s data collection and aggregation platform, Astarte, Clea allows you to turn collected data into insights or to use it to create richer, more interactive, personalised interactions.

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