Intelligent vending machine catering to a much bigger variety of use cases

Aslak de Silva, CEO

Selfly Store by Stora Enso offers a powerful end-to-end solution for unmanned retail. It combines the traditional shopping experience with the latest advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) to create a completely new way of serving customers. 

In recent years, increasingly intelligent vending solutions have been introduced worldwide. While the majority of machines in the market still operate with traditional vending dispensing technology, the entry of intelligent machines is expected to revolutionize the vending industry over the next 10 years.

As pioneers in the smart vending space, Selfly Store aims to lead the impending market disruption. It does so by combining best practices from traditional retail and e-commerce, merging the physical shopping experience with a digitally enhanced grab-and-go service.

At the core of the solution is the Selfly Store intelligent cabinet, which can accommodate both food and non-food items. Consumers can purchase products from the cabinet independently using contactless payment methods. Selfly Store can be easily implemented as an additional point of sale in various locations, including workplaces, hotels, hospitals, airports, universities, and industrial sites.

Selfly Store's intelligent cabinets are powered by radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and connected to the Selfly Cloud, allowing merchants to operate their Selfly Stores remotely with access to real-time data. Today, more than 100 visionary companies in 22 European countries use Selfly Store's services.

All of their products are developed and produced in Finland. They are a diverse team consisting of 14 nationalities located across 7 countries. The company invests more than 60% of their revenue in research and development.

It all began in 2016 when two Stora Enso employees were provided with funds to develop a paper-based radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag. These tags are used to identify and detect items through remote scanning and can include information about the products to which they are attached.

In 2017, a customer suggested a new use case for the paper-based RFID tags: a novel type of vending machine that could carry nearly any type of product and identify them with RFID tags. In addition to the hardware, a cloud solution would provide real-time data about the items in the cabinet. The first prototype of an intelligent fridge hit the market a few months later.

2022 marked significant progress for Selfly Store. The design of the third-generation cabinets was substantially improved, and the product line was extended to include three variants: room temperature cabinets, refrigerators, and freezers. Moreover, the cloud solution was enhanced with new features, such as expiry date management. From the cloud, a wealth of big data and analytics can be leveraged for benchmarking and optimizing businesses. The insights and data from operations in over 20 countries certainly provide new and exciting opportunities for vending machine operators.



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