back to article Telefonica grabs Jasper cloud to hook up British vending machines

Telefonica has signed an exclusive deal with Jasper Wireless for use of its machine-to-machine cloud in the UK, hoping Jasper's kit will drive developers to a cellular solution. Machine to machine is already an important market for network operators, but it's going to get much more important as embedded intelligence grows. With …

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Meh

Why?

What's it for? Really?

If it's vending machines that delivers DVD's and games that's almost over: If it is for delivering sodas then why bother.

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Gold badge

I have seen GSM kit in M2M for years. The only problem has been getting a contract with an operator who lets you keep the SIM going without all the usual "3 months and cash top-ups" crap.

As for why GSM? It works almost everywhere, just put in the SIM when manufactured, deliver and switch-on. No requiring a WiFi AP. No changing settings everytime someone chages the AP or security model, or when you move kit to somewhere else.

As for why vending machines might want comms; how about stock control, failures, etc. It's much cheaper to only send someone to stockit when it needs it, and it makes no money if it's empty, broken, switched-off, etc.

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Boffin

Why vending machines?

Vending machines have thin profit margins. Any efficeincy improvement goes to the bottom line

1. As BristolBachelor says, stock control is vital. An empty machine sells nothing. Sales figures are not regular and predictable even in a stable location like a train station. In say a sports stadium, being out-of-stock ruins the whole profit picture.. A visit to check on stock is an expensive hammer to crack a very small nut. M2M over mobile is much cheaper than a person+van.

2. Vandalism is an issue in quite a few locations. How about if the M2M device has the capability of taking a photo of the perp and sending it to the cops? Deterrence/prevention of vandalism also turns straight into profit.

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Silver badge
Stop

No

Stock control is not an issue & something that can't be debated unless you are an exec at the vending firm.

Sending people around to assure the machines are full is built into the model & considered cost of doing business. Margins may be thin but in this case volume works. You don't think Coca-Cola would put all those machines out there for fun do you?

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GSM modules are also fairly cheap

You can get them for less than 20 Euros now. And that does include a full TCP/IP stack

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Anonymous Coward

I'd like to teach the world to think, in perfect harmony

"You don't think Coca-Cola would put all those machines out there for fun do you?"

Don't know about Coke but the chocolate machine round here is out of stock more time than it's usable. No stock = no sales = no revenue. Not really a good business model.

And even Coke shareholders would surely appreciate less time and money spent on on unnecessary visits, whether or not it's already in the current business model?

It's not the technology that's the issue, it's justifying the up front investment - it's an RoI/payback-time issue.

And "justifying the up front investment" has been the issue since outfits like GPT Payphones were doing this kind of thing for global operators of networks of vending machines. Via dialup. Quite a while ago (1990s?).

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Meh

Re: I'd like to teach the world to think, in perfect harmony

Your chocolate machine is owned and operated by an independent vendor. They buy their candy from the brand name and it's up to the vendor to make sure their machines are full. That's where they get their money. Your beef is when the vendor, not the brand.

Coke is the biggest franchised operation in the world and they seem to be fairly happy with the way things work with all the 'dumb' machines and the delivery guys.

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Re: I'd like to teach the world to think, in perfect harmony

Companies generally don't like or don't understand efficiency. If it was like that, many companies, particularly in the financial sector would have only a tenth of their employees, but would expect those to be able to use (=program) computers.

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