Poo found on every McDonald’s touchscreen tested (source: https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/28/poo-found-on-every-mcdonalds-touchscreen-tested-8178486/?ito=cbshare?ito=cbshare)
What it does
Basically we create a digital twin for vending machines, self-service kiosk, ticketing machines etc.. and we interact with the digital twin from our mobile's touchscreen instead of touching physical buttons, keypads or touchscreens of machines or POS. Once ordered the products or services, we talk with directly with the machine, kitchen screens, printers etc... to deliver the product or service to the customer.
How we built it
The solution is compose of two main components:
1) Low cost open Hardware board, which we call "venduino", responsible for:
- connecting the machine to internet, preferably with WiFi
- hacking the physical interfaces of the machine such as keypads
- behaving as a cashless payments using standard MBD protocol
2) A mobile progressive web application (PWA):
No signup, no download, just scan a QR pointing to a landing web page with a virtual representation of the keypad, physical buttons or a responsive interface of the self-checking kiosk touchscreen.
e-commerce payment gateway is used to pay for products or services
Challenges we ran into
- How to synchronize the physical machine with his digital twin in internet using pervasive and ubiquitous connectivity?
- How to hack keypads, cashless mechanisms and integrate communications, all in one low cost Arduino device?
- How to anonymize the identity of the users but still provide "one click" payments in any machine from any domain connected to OpenVend? or in other words, how to remember the credit card of users for next purchases without compromise their data?
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We retrofitted any unattended point of sales (ticketing, tolls, parking, vending, kiosks ...) supporting cash or cashless payments with an alternative model to not touch the machine
We make possible micro payments at minimum commission fees while allowing loyalty programs
We achieved similar QR payments experience as WeChat Pay, but without using native applications to be installed on mobile phones
What we learned
- We should adapt our daily routines and we can leverage the available point of sales making them more aseptic, just to prevent infections. Let´s retrofit kiosk at metro stations, vending machines, still provide the self-checking experience at restaurants to avoid waiting times, etc .. but using the touchscreen of our phones !!!
What's next for Contacless OpenVend
- Use contactless vending machine to distribute Personal Protective Equipment, PPE (mask, gloves, etc). For example: distribute one kit per person per day. All machines are connected and registered users are tracked to avoid missusage.