AT&T TV commercial highlights remote machine monitoring, signaling vending’s fast pace of change

Have you seen the AT&T TV commercial demonstrating the benefits of remote machine monitoring of a cold beverage vending machine? It has been running for several weeks, and it marks the most significant attempt to educate the general public about the capabilities that our industry has to offer.The commercial shows young boys buying soda from an outdoorglassfront machine. As the commercial focuses in on the motion of shelves in the machine, a narrator explains how the soda inventory is managed byAT&Ts technology.I wondered why AT&T chose to run a TV commercial about a business-to-business service.I dont think there is a simple answer to this question, but Im sure it has something to do with the fierce competition in the telecommunications industry. And that industrys rapid pace of change.For the past several months, VendingMarketWatch has noted that the vending industry has a lot at stake in the evolution of smart phones. Innovations in telecommunication is blurring the line between consumer and business technologies.Remote machine monitoring is not new. Known as M2M (machine-to-machine), this capability has been employed by many industries. As wireless telecommunication has evolved, the M2M industry has grown fast.AT&T has been an M2M leader. In recent years, it has focused on whats known as its enterprise and small business applications. The vending machine management featured in the current TV commercial falls under this umbrella.AT&T has chosen to use TV to reach and educate potential M2M customers.Rest assured that the new generation of vending operators will be cognizant of what our industry has been referring to as remote machine monitoring.The world as we have known it is changing, and the pace of change is accelerating.

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