Service Vendor company EatWave has come up with a way to provide vending machine customers with food that is hot, room temperature, or cold. The idea says GizMag, is to provide a fresh tasting product from a single vending machine, something that is sorely lacking in most machines that serve items that are vended either at room temperature or frozen and need to then be put in a microwave oven. In contrast, CNET says, users can frequent a single machine to purchase such disparate items as popsicles, fried chicken, coffee, candy bars, soda or gum, all from the same machine.
The new vending machine, also called the EatWave, does its magic by combining several technologies into one. Specifically, it has individual freezers or refrigerators for items that are to be sold frozen or cold, such as ice cream or milk. But it also has a built in microwave oven inside where purchased items are routed after being selected, but before being presented to the buyer. Items stored in the EatWave can have programs associated with them to indicate whether they need heating or not, and where to find them. The EatWave also has both mechanical mechanisms for moving food items as well as gravity fed devices to ensure food arrives in the condition customers expect.
The company says the new vending machines will be able to provide complete meals, including entrees, desserts and beverages. And because of that, customers will be able to buy whole meals at reduced prices, if they so desire. Since the purchase decisions will be computer driven, the machine can make sure that all of the components of the meal come out just when they are supposed to so that customers won’t find their dessert melting as they wait for their hot meal to heat.
The EatWave machine can also be purchased by clients such as business, and stocked with customized products, or sold to vendor companies that provide standard fare. Either way, each machine costs $12,000. Each machine comes with six customizable trays and can handle up to sixty different food items, which adds up to a massive total of 1020 individual food or beverage items.
GizMag says the new vending machine could help customers save time by avoiding having to choose from separate vending machines that might be located in different places. Also, it eliminates the need to have a microwave oven situated nearby, allowing customers to have hot meals delivered directly.