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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 3, March 2013, Posted On: 2/19/2013

New Company Offers AirVend Touchscreen Interface For Vending Machines

Nick Montano
TAGS: AirVend, vending machine, vending touchscreen device, AV 7 vending machine screen, vending data interchange, Dave Loveland, Chad Francis, calorie disclosure rules, Chad Francis, cashless vending, mobile payments, vending POS

Airvend PROVO, UT -- Newcomer AirVend, based here, is offering a touchscreen solution for vending machines. It is designed to enhance the POS experience and ease compliance with government product content disclosure rules.

Called the AV 7, the AirVend device serves as an eye-catching customer interface, and provides cashless payment options like credit card and near field communications (NFC) mobile payment acceptance.

It is wirelessly connected to AV Live, a cloud-based system that delivers real-time sales data, machine alerts, inventory tracking and additional information to the operator. It presently is connected through MDB; a DEX connector will reportedly be introduced in the next few months.

"We are actively seeking to meet NAMA VDI [vending data interchange] standards, in order to allow for interoperability," said AirVend cofounder Dave Loveland, chief marketing officer for the company.

With simple over-the-air software updates, the AV 7 platform becomes "an extremely dynamic interface on a very static machine," Loveland said. This connectivity permits the latest innovations from AirVend, such as advertising, loyalty programs, promotions and new cashless payment methods, to flow to the machines, as they become available.

Loveland added, "The release of Android, a free operating system, as well as consumerization of tablets and smartphones has commoditized small, powerful computing devices and components."

The company has expedited its development of the AV 7 to help the vending industry comply with the nutritional-content reporting requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 when the details have been finalized and an implementation date is announced. Loveland explained that the company has assembled its own product database containing thousands of items, with their nutritional labels and product images. "We allow operators to add new items, with an approval process on our end, and we also actively update the database with new products on an ongoing basis," he said.

AirVend cofounder Chad Francis, a software engineer, explained that members of his family have been in the vending industry for 20-plus years, which gave him insight into the role new technologies could play in the industry.

AirVend will make its formal debut at the upcoming National Automatic Merchandising Association OneShow in Las Vegas, from April 24 through 26.

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