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Smart Vending Machine

We are creating an ecosystem that encompasses consumers, the business, and the service provider to the to the business owners - 3 circles

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Today we have a trade-off between convenience and waste. Whether you are getting a morning coffee or a mid-afternoon snack, if you want something fast to fit into your routine, you are probably going to waste plastic.

What if you could have the convenience of a vending machine without the plastic waste inside?  

We propose to build a network of smart vending machines that distribute portioned servings of food and drinks. Instead of individually wrapped items, smart vending machines are filled with bulk containers of popular foods and beverages. Customers will be given a compostable or reusable container. The smart vending machine will measure out an appropriate serving of the customer’s item of choice into their waiting cup.

Smart vending machines will be first be introduced to gyms and fitness centers distributing protein shakes. Regular exercisers[c1] are advised to consume protein within 60 minutes of a workout, and protein shakes are a common form of getting these nutrients. Instead of going home, opening a packet of protein powder, and making one yourself, you can get an on-demand protein shake right after your workout.

Multiple flavors and powders will be available, allowing individuals to customize their shake to their needs. Reusable bottles will be available for a small deposit and can be returned at a future gym visit.

Smart vending machines are able to eliminate a need for small plastics while conveniently getting consumers the sustenance they need.

Idea Title

The convenience of a vending machine without the plastic waste inside.

Company / Organization Name

OpenIDEO Palo Alto Chapter

Website

www.sevsaffen.com

Where are you / your team located?

Palo Alto, California, USA

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

We propose to build a network of smart vending machines that distribute portioned servings of food and drinks. Instead of individually wrapped items, smart vending machines are filled with bulk containers of popular foods and beverages. Customers will be given a compostable or reusable container. The smart vending machine will measure out an appropriate serving of the customer’s item of choice into their waiting cup.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Case 1 and 2

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

We will start local, expanding to other areas as we see success. Given that vending machines appear all over the United States as well as other countries, there are lots of opportunities to expand.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Vending machines are everywhere. Once we’ve seen success working with gyms and fitness centers, we can expand to other areas where people are looking for snacks – and there are lots of them. With school districts increasingly under pressure to offer healthy options, we can put smart vending machines in cafeterias to teach kids about portion control and sustainable consumption. Hotels, office parks, laundromats, and commuter stations, to name a few, are all filled with hungry humans. We e

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Next steps would be to start Ethnographic Research that will include observation and interviews, in places that has high traffic of people such as gym's, start-up environments, college campus cafeterias. Next step will be to bring our prototype to test the idea. Analyze the data between the interviews and the usage of the prototype to further the idea and the design process.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

OpenIDEO Palo Alto workshop

Tell us about your work experience

Our team consist of one Industrial Designer, One Interaction Designer and One Sales Superhero.

Please describe, in detail, your business model and how you intend to test and iterate this model.

My proposed business model is to work directly with businesses. I will provide my service to places that currently use vending machines, such as schools, cafeterias, small- to- mid sized businesses, train stations etc… The goal is to reduce the number of individually wrapped snacks in places that have high volume foot traffic while still generating profit. My research demonstrated that bulk purchasing is 59% cheaper than packaged foods. That savings is a double win; it benefits the environment,

Please explain how your innovation will work within, potentially improve, and provide benefit to the plastics system.

After conducting my research and listening to the advisor talks on the openideo platform, I have decided to use compostable packaging/bags to serve the snacks. I am aware of the pros and cons of this choice. Composting can be done from personal to industrial scales. Since the Smart Vending Machines can be scaled globally, my focus is on an industrial/commercial scale. There are many advantages to industrial/ commercial composting that are attractive to businesses economically either making a hum

Please describe, in depth, how your solution will reduce the overall environmental footprint of packaging.

Interviewing the Palo Alto Recycle center manager has shown that hand-picking and separating plastics is labor intensive and mostly unsuccessful because of the mere two seconds the the employees have to quickly pick up plastic from the garbage moving on the conveyor belt. He also stated that it is very difficult to identify plastic forks and spoons from compostable ones. It is crucial to separate the plastic from compost because if compostable products mix with recyclable ones they will contamin

Please outline how your design, material, and delivery choices will influence price, and how you intend to address the price increase that may result from this solution.

The cost of the compostable packaging is higher than the cost of the plastic packaging. That said, serving snacks from bulk will lower my business cost, which than can break even with the purchase of the compostable bags. Ideally of course, the goal is to encourage consumers to use their own containers when purchasing snacks. To create that we can charge an additional fee to each package that has been purchased. We can take San Francisco’s example of retailers charging customers for shopping bag

Please explain how your solution will impact user behavior, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your Idea. 

Most people who have ever used a vending machine are familiar with the inconvenience of the transaction. From machines that only accepting cash, and often reject paper bills that are wrinkled to all the steps required to complete a transaction, to items stuck in machines. I see an opportunity to innovate and improve the customer purchase interaction with vending machines using digital screens that will ease the ordering, provide nutritional information and smooth the payment process. Wh

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

If selected as a Top Idea, I would spend time developing a detailed business plan, including research into bulk food distribution models, local sources, shipping costs, marketing and sales plans. I would reach out to product engineers to potentially

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DeletedUser

Good product for all uganda please see how implement it atleast in uganda

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