CLEVELAND -- Fox Broadcasting Co. affiliate WJW (Fox 8 Cleveland) aired an informative news story on January 10 about Vendors Exchange International Inc.'s M.I.N.D. touchscreen video display and information-retrieval system for vending machines.
Veteran WJW reporter Maria Scali spoke with VEII's Stephanie Begley and customer Sherry Hillier of University Hospitals Parma Medical Center about the accessory, a flat-panel touch-sensitive monitor sized for installation above a vending machine's payment system. It can store or stream detailed ingredient information about a vast number of vendible confections and snacks, and also can serve as the customer interface for product selection.
M.I.N.D. stands for "make informed nutritional decisions," and the system was designed to provide vending patrons with the detailed information imprinted on product packaging. Vending customers can't pick up the package and rotate it to learn the details of the contents, but by using an M.I.N.D. touchscreen, they can call up all the information for easy viewing.
Begley demonstrated the touchscreen interface by searching for and displaying the information imprinted on a bag of Cheetos.
Vending patron Hillier observed that "You want to know your caloric information and your carbohydrate load." The screen can highlight gluten-free or peanut-free products that can be important information for people with food allergies.
Some 5,000 M.I.N.D. video display touchscreen systems reportedly are in use. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes a requirement for displaying caloric-content information for vending machine products. It is not presently known how the regulators envision this being done, but the M.I.N.D. display is designed to provide this kind of data to vending patrons.
The technology is available as a 7" flat screen and on the 46" display available in the VE Connect retrofittable accessories line.