Winners of the third annual Self-Service Innovation Awards accepted their plaques during the Self-Service Innovation Summit in Hollywood, Florida.
For the third straight year, the Self-Service Innovation Awards honored the products that earned top honors for self service excellence during the Self-Service Innovation Summit.
Networld Media Group, host of the event, honored six winners during a ceremony Thursday during the Self-Service Innovation Summit at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
This year’s contest included accessibility as a new awards category.
Cherryh Cansler, vice president of events at Networld Media Group, and Paresh Patel, founder and CEO of PayRange, which sponsored the presentation, presented the awards.
Readers of Kiosk Marketplace and Vending Times submitted nominations from August through October. A panel of judges then narrowed the nominees to finalists in each of the contest categories, which were announced in November.
The winners are listed below.
Luke Saunders accepts the Innovation of the Year (B2B) award from Paresh Patel and Cherryh Cansler.
Innovation of the Year (B2B)
Farmer’s Fridge, a company that produces fresh food and provides it in its proprietary vending machines to customer locations, took top honors in the B2B category, the most hotly contested awards category.
The company’s technology enables its fridges to keep food fresh without any modifications or preservatives. Proprietary software and cost function algorithms forecast demand for each fridge, and the company prepares fresh meals and snacks in their Chicago kitchen based on prediction and recommended allocation.
Consumers are able to view live inventory on a mobile app, ensuring their favorite menu item will be available in real time.
The technology ensures the fridges are optimally stocked based on consumer preferences, minimizes food waste and optimizes revenue by preparing exactly what each fridge is forecast to sell.
A touchscreen menu shares ingredients and nutritional information to offer customers full transparency.
Luke Saunders, founder and CEO of Farmer’s Fridge, accepted the award.
Mashgin won the Innovation of the Year (B2C) award for its touchless self-checkout kiosk.
Innovation of the Year (B2C)
Mashgin offers a touchless self-checkout kiosk that now includes multi-tray functionality for improved versatility.
The touchless checkout system uses AI-powered computer vision rather than barcodes or RFID readers to recognize and ring up objects as much as 10 times faster than traditional cashiers. The system immediately identifies packaged goods, open plated food items (such as a salad, combo meal plate, etc.) or produce from any angle.
The multi-tray functionality can capture multiple trays and combine them into a single transaction at checkout.
The system does not require the customer to perform any prior tasks such as signing up online, downloading an app or walking through a turnstile into a store with personal surveillance.
Laura Boniello Miller accepts the Accessibility award for JAWS for Kiosk by VIspero.
JAWS for Kiosk by Vispero
JAWS offers a screen reader customized for kiosks and closed systems that is now available for kiosks running Android operating systems, enabling Android kiosks to provide the same usability to serve all customers, including blind and low vision guests.
The original JAWS for Kiosk product for Windows is still available and is deployed on thousands of kiosks, including McDonald’s restaurant kiosks nationally.
JAWS for Kiosk enables text-to-speech audio output for self-service kiosks to allow blind or low vision users to have greater independence while performing tasks like ordering at a quick service restaurant, entering information at a doctor’s office or job application site, voting in an election and more.
The kiosk includes a dictionary to allow administrators to customize how the system pronounces specific words or abbreviations.
The kiosk does not require an Internet connection.
Laura Boniello Miller, corporate business development manager at Vispero, accepted the award.
Carly Furman, joined by Nayax colleagues Greg Hasslinger and Bryan Hebert, accepts the COVID-19 award for Monyx Wallet.
The Monyx Wallet from Nayax is a mobile wallet that offers a touch-free feature that operators can configure by integrating Nayax’s VPOS Touch cashless payment solution in machines using vending protocol 4.3 MDB and above. The touch-free feature lets consumers purchase and pay at a machine using the digital app.
Operators can configure product maps in the Nayax management suite to enable this Monyx Wallet functionality. When consumers choose the machine within the app, they can view a product map display that allows them to choose the desired product. Once the product is selected, payment automatically takes place. The machine then releases the product.
The Monyx Wallet can be used in both closed and open environments. The wallet, in addition to the touch-free feature, enables the operator to digitize the refund process, reducing operational costs.
The wallet also improves the customer experience by allowing customizable digital loyalty programs including happy hour sales, cashback, gamification and more.
Carly Furman, CEO of Nayax LLC, accepted the award.
Stratis Morfogen accepts the Reader’s Choice Operator Innovator of the Year award for Brooklyn Dumpling Shop.
Reader’s Choice Operator Innovator of the Year
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, a fast casual dumpling restaurant launched in 2017, is based on the historic Automat vending machine concept where food prepared at an onsite kitchen was maintained at the proper temperature in a locker for pickup. While the Automat used a coin insert to unlock the food locker, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop texts a code to the guest or delivery driver for pickup.
The marked locker automatically opens when the guest or delivery driver scans their texted barcode.
Pickup lockers light red at 100 degrees, blue at 28 degrees and auburn at room temperature.
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop has also deployed kiosk ordering and online/app ordering.
Stratis Morfogen, director of operations at Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, accepted the award.
GoTab Inc. won the Reader’s Choice Vendor Innovator of the Year award for its point-of-sale, on-demand mobile ordering and payments and kitchen display system.
Reader’s Choice Vendor Innovator of the Year
GoTab Inc. offers a point-of-sale, on-demand mobile ordering and payments system, along with a kitchen display system, to allow restaurants and other venues (bars, food halls, sports, hotel and event food and beverage retailers) to improve sales and reduce labor costs.
The company launched its EasyTab in July to bridge traditional service with digital, on-demand ordering, payment and reordering.
Guests open a tab using a QR code or through a server. Prompt to keep the tab open, the guest or server then swipes or dips the card provided for payment and enters the guest’s mobile number.
The system then texts a link to the open tab to allow the guest to access the tab on a mobile device, which allows them to order, pay and reorder from anywhere in the venue.
Since the payment is automatically applied to the open tab, guests can settle or split the tab without having to wait for a check or go to the counter.
Toby Awalt, vice president of marketing at Mashgin, accepted the award via video.
Awards photos provided by Willie Lawless.
Elliot Maras is the editor of Kiosk Marketplace and Vending Times. He brings three decades covering unattended retail and commercial foodservice.