Product Recognition -- Optional Hardware
Following are optional hardware:
- LCD Monitor (small multi-touch screen) – monitor is not required for product recognition as images are stored internally. An LCD touchscreen can enable the linking of the MIND nutritional and key ingredient data to be displayed.
- Digital Pricing Labels (on the tray) – used in combination with item data storage.
- Video Monitor (Closed) Door – large format screen requiring UCB and camera-ready axis pathways (must have connectivity to digital content management software and media distribution).
Product Recognition -- Required Software
Following are required software for installing product recognition software:
- Vendors Exchange Product Recognition Software – in order for a product recognition application to be able to capture and match images registered by the digital camera to stored images in the associated database files. A real-time application that can also be used to troubleshoot and/or resolve a variety of machine alerts and alarms as well as the capability for selective on-demand remote control operations.
- Product Recognition Database Management – content restricted to stored product orientation images in a manner designed to facilitate rapid and accurate evaluations of real-time captured images.
Product Recognition -- Optional Software
Following is optional software:
- MIND – Nutritional/Ingredient database filing application
- Nutritional Database (nutritionaldatabase.org)
- Display Builder (for MIND screen design)
- Digital Pricing (item price linked to item, not shelf or line)
What is MIND?
From a consumer perspective, knowing the nutritional information prior to a purchase may be a critical factor in item selection. The MIND (Make Informed Nutritional Decisions) software enables the consumer to either navigate through a series of attribute screens (category screens) or enter a product's row and column coordinates on a digital keyboard to reveal a product's nutritional, and sometimes dominant ingredient or allergen content. When attributes are used, a series of lead-through screens provide the consumer with product information to enable a more informed purchase decision. The same outcome results when the consumer accesses the data via spiral reference index. Each of these processes requires the consumer to interact with the display screen to retrieve the correct item information. With product recognition, available items are identified automatically by the machine-based software and can be displayed akin to the manual search procedures (if desired).
The MIND enables a vending operator to download the nutritional information of products being placed in a vending machine from a website (NutritionDatabase.org.) Once the nutritional data is captured, it is stored on an SD card connected to the vending machine control board. The nutritional information, as well as a picture of the product, can then be displayed on the MIND monitor. The nutritional database contains an extensive listing of product information as provided by its manufacturer. On the vending machine a video monitor (screen display) is linked to the board is then able to display the manufacturer's nutritional product information, as well as playing promotional videos, including commercials and advertisements. In essence, the database containing the product's information is populated based on identification of the products being sold through the machine.
The nutritional database contains information provided by the product manufacturer (commercial or private label) who remains responsible for maintaining current content. The database can be accessed by a vending operator, who in turn, selects products to be sold in the vending machine thereby creating a customized data set for each machine configuration. It is important to note that the nutritional database used in association with the MIND is established through the direct contribution of product manufacturers. For operators, the expense involved is the cost of the MIND touchscreen display and related mounting hardware. The operator then maintains the information on the screen through the use of Display Builder software, provided at no cost, and the use of a non-volatile Micro Secure Digital (SD) card for file storage.