This week Deutsche Telekom will present new M2M commerce products at a vending-machine trade fair in Cologne, Germany. The products enable vending-machine operators to better monitor and operate their machines and to convert to cashless payment via mobile phone. A module will also be offered that will allow existing machines to be upgraded. The module transfers the collected vending machine data to a server—operated by Vendon, a Deutsche Telekom solutions partner—via a connection on Telekom’s mobile network.
In last week’s edition, we noted the forthcoming eightfold growth of revenue in the M2M sector in the coming decade. We emphasized the business sector and industrial applications, but as this news makes clear, there is definitely untapped potential for consumer M2M, and we applaud Deutsche Telekom for recognizing it. Buying a candy bar or a soda at a vending machine without fumbling for change, simply by using a mobile device, is only one of a multitude of applications one could imagine to make consumer interactions with mechanical devices more seamless and attractive. Mobile operators should certainly seek large pieces of this action.