Maytag Gets Smart With Vending Machine

Appliance maker Maytag Corp. announced it has teamed up with Corp. to develop and market a smarter vending machine, one that can process credit-card transactions and dispense pricier goods, such as clothing.

The alliance with, based in Kennett Square, Pa., will give Newton, Iowa-based Maytag exclusive rights to use eVend’s embedded Internet connectivity technology in its Dixie-Narco vending equipment. Maytag declined to say how much it paid to take an undisclosed stake in eVend, which makes technology to control vending machines and appliances over the Internet.

“This is a very interesting concept — eVend’s vending machines can be connected and monitored through an Internet site,” says Maytag spokesperson Jim Powell. “The technology can be used to allow vending machines to process credit-card purchases. And we will be making machines that can physically handle (larger) products. Imagine being able to buy a sweatshirt from a vending machine at the beach if you’re cold.”

Allison Roberts, a spokesperson for eVend, says her company was a technology firm looking for a sponsor.

“Maytag Appliance will allow us to leverage our technology to a larger market,” she says.

Powell says he doesn’t know when the new product will be developed, or become commercially available.