April 09, 2005
The "Golden Eye" delivery system
I can't explain my constant desire to impress you, dear reader, with my absurdly nerdy nature, but here we go again:
Recently uncovered in the "voice memo" section of my phone was a note to look up the "golden eye guaranteed delivery system" for vending machines. I saw a sticker on a machine at a Michigan rest area (I probably got M&Ms) and just had to know what the Golden Eye was doing for me!
"Our Golden Eye guaranteed delivery system watches your vends to compensate for product loading errors and ensure success every time. No more credit vouchers or grumpy customers. Just smooth operations all the time, under any ambient lighting condition."
Their description sounds pretty simple, to an electrical engineer at least, and I have to wonder why it took so long for this to appear in vending machines. My limited exposure to the corporate world leaves me with some ideas:
- Vending companies don't give a damn whether you get your Mounds bar.
- It's relatively costly, despite the relatively simple circuitry involved. I imagine the controllers they use in vending machines are getting cheaper every year, making little touches like this more affordable.
- The vending machine companies have run out of ways to compete, so they have started adding features (see also temperature-sensitive prices for pop).