AT&T’s IoT solutions will power fresh-food vending from a smart fridge on a scalable platform.
A new startup called Farmer’s Fridge is using an IoT-enabled smart fridge to sell fresh, healthy meals to those on the go.
Here’s how it works: The company makes the food each day and delivers it to smart fridges across the Chicago area in schools, airports, hospitals, office buildings, convenience stores and other high traffic areas.
The smart fridge, which is a vending machine, is equipped with an AT&T Global SIM card, Farmer’s Fridge explained, and is connected to IoT services. This allows the temperatures of the refrigerators to be constantly monitored and automatically adjusted if needed. To ensure customers never get food that isn’t at the peak of freshness, the fridges automatically shut down if the power goes out for longer than two hours.
“The technological backbone of our business is the IoT platform we have built to optimize the fridges, and AT&T has been an essential collaborator,” said Luke Saunders, founder and CEO of Farmer’s Fridge. “It’s essential to have a scalable solution that is easy to setup with reliable connectivity, so we can grow our business and continue to make slow food available fast.”
The company said they also use the IoT for predictive maintenance. The fridges send out instant alerts if potential problems are detected. This keeps downtime and food loss to a minimum.
The fridges also send inventory reports. At the end of each day, a report is sent to the kitchen to let them know what they need to replenish the next day, and another report is sent to drivers with their delivery route for the day.
According to AT&T, the Smart Fridges accept all major credit cards, complete transactions in real time, and use less than $25 worth of electricity a month.