This unit features remotely managed, multi-language, multi-vend, cashless transactions with dual-screen, digital signage and has touch screen capability.
All Solara products are proprietary and are designed to work together in assorted configurations or as stand-alone devices. The remote management technology (RMT) solution offered by Solara provides the basis for managing the content and operation of distributed vending machines via Internet connectivity.
Digital files are transported using TCP/IP protocol and self-install for immediate application.
Solara screens tend to be touch screen in nature with sequential, lead-through logic. Solara views digital content as a movement toward new revenues through advertising and promotional opportunities.
Remote-managed, digital signage on Solara screens can be divided into multiple zones, thereby allowing several viewing and advertising options. On the large 42-inch screen, for example, a television feed can be presented as a public service in one zone while scrawling news or sports in another zone as other information is strategically positioned in additional zones.
Media content does not require manual servicing as the RMT software provides content and sufficient data to self install. Income can be gained from national, regional or local advertising, as well as point-of-sale promotion.
Solara relies on a video format that ensures exclusive control by the vending operator. Solara also offers content in multiple languages (English, Spanish or French) and features a shopping cart metaphor for reviewing purchases. A bottle deposit or state tax can optionally be applied to purchase transactions.
Solara also offers single- and double-sided, hi-definition LCD screens designed to maximize the visual impact of paid advertising (even at a busy airport location). Solara also produces a unique, self-service map dispensing machine labeled MapVend.
3M TOUCH SYSTEMS OFFERS DIFFERENT TOUCH SCREENS
3M Touch Systems manufactures touch screen devices in its Micro Touch division and is among the first company to successfully implement touch screens in the vending industry. 3M has led the way with enhancements to screens, including ruggedness, durability and spill-resistance.
3M offers both resistive and capacitive touch screens, although capacitative is recommended for vending applications. 3M describes its capacitative touch screens as environmentally robust, durable, highly sensitive and possessing superb optical clarity.
The 3M application involves a small electronic controller attached to the LCD display panel and specialty software. The main emphasis has been the replacement of vending machine buttons with graphic icon representation and drill down product information.
Vending applications are built on the ClearTek II capacitative touch screen design with patented micro-touch electronics and software featuring optimized optics to facilitate display integration for touch-enabled transactions.
DIGITAL FLOOR COVERING PRESENTS A NEW OPTION FOR VENDING
While vending suppliers continue to perfect digital display units, it is interesting to note the recent introduction of a different form of digital presentation, a digital floor covering, which may be considered at a vending location.
IntelliMat is a wireless, Windows-based PC designed to work on the floor. It is less than an inch thick, and is designed to be walked on and support shopping cart traffic. The IntelliMat is designed with a gently sloping ramp that makes it easy to walk on or roll a shopping cart across.
The IntelliMat is composed of four, 15-inch LCD screens powered by a single, small voltage electrical cord that plugs into a standard wall outlet. No special installation or preparation is necessary.
The four LCD screens create a zero-inch, diagonal display that projects multi-media content, video, flash, MPEG files and virtually anything a PC can play — complete with full audio and wireless directional speakers. Pre-existing or custom content can be downloaded onto the IntelliMat from a local server, PDA or USB drive, and since each IntelliMat has its own specific IP address, content delivery can be mat-specific.