Connected Freezer for Fresh Food Dispensing

Client Overview

US based leading retail chain providing nutritionally advised and fresh-frozen food items with a unique technology instantly sealing in flavour, freshness, and nutrition

Business Challenge

Customer was facing a challenge in providing user an option of food selection with convenient purchasing method – a solution that can convert any off the shelf vending refrigerator into a smart freezer which can help enable remote tracking of retail inventory stocks inside the freezer.

VOLANSYS Contribution

Developed a solution that monitors inventory of food items inside the freezer and report to cloud automatically when food is taken out and freezer door
is closed, the solution kit includes:

  • RFID Reader & Antenna:
    • RFID microwave friendly tags attached to the food items in freezer
    • Readers to identify inventory entries and exits (sales) from freezer once the door is locked
  • Door Lock Sensor
    • Lock/unlock capabilities-controlled via mobile app
    • Upon opening/closing door, status update on mobile app
    • Identify the beginning and end of user sessions
  • Temperature Sensor
    • Remote monitoring of freezer temperature and closes the door with increasing temperature beyond 10 degC
  • Mobile Application
    • Scans Unique freezer QR code id (# displayed on freezer)
    • Lock to Unlock freezer door based on membership
    • Auto payment as per food items were taken out of freezer
  • Network Gateway with Wi-Fi, 4G LTE connectivity

Solution Architecture

VOLANSYS-Solution Architecture-Connected Freezer

VOLANSYS Services

Product Engineering & Manufacturing:

  • Hardware design and development of network gateway
  • Interfacing of RFID Reader, antenna, smart door lock, door sensor and temperature sensor to Hub
  • Antenna position finalization and tuning with actual deployment scenario
  • Wi-Fi Provisioning and end-to-end communication support to mobile application Connectivity to Cloud
  • Involved in Mass Production of Automated Food Dispensing System that we engineered

Mobile Application Development

  • Basic Android mobile application development to validate overall kit functionality testing
  • Wire-frames development
  • Payment gateway integration

Cloud Connectivity

  • Provided OTA through cloud which makes the solution maintainable remotely
  • Hub provision and registration
  • User authorization with cloud
  • Freezer identification via QR code and/or freezer ID#

Benefits Delivered

  • Hassle free fresh food take out from freezer as per customer’s choice
  • Automated freezer lock/unlock, temperature monitoring and inventory management in freezer helps doing better logistics and food supply & waste management
  • Scalable business model to install thousands of multiple freezers at multiple locations and monitor food inventory in freezer remotely