Capgemini was Premium partner at the SAP Innovation Forum a few weeks ago in Stockholm, where the latest innovations by SAP were presented to more than 700 persons from customers and partners. In order to emphasize our offerings around mobility, Cloud and HANA together with SAP, we brought the next generation vending machine to the event.
The new generation vending machines are smart, connected machines that, of course, automatically find out when it’s time to refill the refreshments and to replace components if they are broken, but it also uses facial recognition, Near Field Communication (NFC), and a membership program to market and sell everything from food to electronics on their giant touch screens. The machine is equipped with video cameras that, among others, can recognize age and gender and thereby customize the offering and the message to a specific buyer. The membership program connected to the account that is automatically signed into when entering the NFC card has the ability to map social networks, buying patterns, and give personalized offers to the buyer. The fact that the new vending machine also recognizes your friends, via the social media accounts, will allow you to send gifts to them. By choosing the recipient of the gift, the vending machine sends a notification message to the friend. The recipient is then free to pick up the gift at any vending machine participating in the program.
The next generation vending machine is connected in real-time by the SAP Mobile Platform to a HANA database in the Cloud. The machine will offer real-time information about response rates to specific offerings—which group of people is buying what, and if there are specific products that should be prioritized for replenishment.
This machine is a good example and shows very firmly how the technology can be used, in order to improve availability and create customized offering to you as a consumer; but equally important is how the new technology can be used to completely change business models. There are many industries that are on it’s way to utilize a technology built on the same main components that the new smart vending machine, e.g., connected cars, smart metering for utility business, predictive maintenance to safeguard non-disruptive production, retailers providing up to date information of your purchasing behavior, etc. This new technology will, in the close future, be able to change the business models from buying a product to buying a service, by payment models based on the number of kilometers driven, number of items produced or services used. The technology is ready…are you and your company? 
Let’s continue delivering Business Transformation through SAP driven Innovation!