Among the products Microsoft is showing off this week at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show is a vending machine with a 40-inch touch screen powered by Windows 10. Built by Mondelez International—the makers of Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Trident gum—the machine allows users to view snacks in 3-D and read nutritional information before they buy, writes Jeremy Korst, Microsoft’s GM for Windows Product Marketing.
As the development of the Internet of Things marches on, the vending machine is just one more example of Microsoft’s quest to incorporate Windows 10 into devices beyond PCs and phones—from cars to ATMs. Azure IoT connects the machine to the cloud, helping technicians to easily find and fix errors. Mondelez says it will introduce 5,000 of the high-tech “Diji-touch” concessions to the United States in the next five years.
Also in Microsoft’s retail pipeline: A Windows 10 POS system that unlocks for workers via facial recognition. The system incorporates Microsoft’s Continuum, so tablet-wielding sales associates can project images of a product onto a larger screen for customers to view.
The company is also touting Ida, a universal Windows app created in partnership with Virgin Atlantic that gives customers a virtual tour of the airline’s Upper Class service. Virgin debuted the app in November and plans to run demos for potential business customers in high-traffic locations.
The underlying logic behind all this? “Shopping experiences are increasingly more interactive, more personal and more multi-channel,” Korst writes. Microsoft hopes to help retailers “create differentiated and delightful digital experiences for customers to use when and wherever they choose: in-the-store, online and on-the-go.”