The last time I asked Andreas what on earth he was doing, his desk was full of Lego. Quite a valid question in that case. The result of this work is called Augmented Commerce.
This time things look a little more ‘conservative’…
…but still: “Andreas, what technology are you just working on?”
“I’m working with some old friends of hybris labs: a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. And of course we have the usual suspects like Neopixel rings and so on… But this time we’re also trying to connect to YaaS.”
“Ok, now what connects to what? What does what and why?”
“The Raspberry Pi does the talking to the YaaS platform, taking control of the whole process. And the Arduino is responsible for the hardware stuff, like LED’s and proximity sensor. This time we’re also using a coin slot which is kind of new. Basically, we’re trying to enable the customer to pay on the YaaS platform with coins.”
“So, we’re building a smart vending machine…”
“I wouldn’t call it that, because it can be more. The idea is that you can connect anything to what we’re building here. We’re not providing a complete vending machine, but only the YaaS-connection. You have your front end through which you can pay and interact with this device, but it’s only the interface of YaaS. What you connect it to in the end is up to you.”
“Apart from lights flashing when I throw in a coin, what else happens? There’s something going on with NFC or RFID, right?”
“At the moment it’s RFID (developer language for: ‘I’ve got no idea if this is going to work. It could be anything at the end. RFID, NFC, telepathy…’). The idea was that somehow you have to authenticate yourself to access your YaaS account. We wanted to do this with RFID, at least that’s the plan for the moment (for translation see above). So, you go up to the machine and through the proximity sensor it notices you’re approaching. It greets you and says ‘Hello, please swipe your card, NFC tag, RFID token, whatever… (Ok, now I’m being a bit mean. To be fair, the things Andreas builds usually work really well. There is a reason his second name is Brain.) Once it knows who you are, you can order the product of your choice. Then you are asked to please pay. You can either throw in coins, or you use the credit you already have on your YaaS account, or you pay by Bitcoin.”
“So, you can either pay physically or digitally via your account. But when you overpay with coins you don’t get any change back, right?”
“That’s the idea, because it simplifies our device. We only take money and don’t return any…”
“Makes sense, sounds good.”
“…yes. What you overpay goes directly to your YaaS account and you can use it the next time.”
Thanks Andreas, we’re curious to see the finished prototype.