The Self-Service Innovation Awards will be presented during a presentation on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at the Self-Service Innovation Summit.

In its second year, the Self-Service Innovation Summit recognizes the products, organizations and individuals that play important roles in improving the self service experience worldwide. This year, the Summit will present five Self-Service Innovation Awards during a presentation on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.

During last year’s inaugural Summit, awards were presented for B2B Innovation of the Year, B2C Innovation of the Year and Best COVID-19 Solution. This year, winners in these three categories will once again be honored, in addition to two new categories: Reader’s Choice Innovator of the Year (Company) and Reader’s Choice Innovator of the Year (Person).

Readers of Kiosk Marketplace and Vending Times submitted nominations from August through October. More than 60 nominations were submitted.

A panel of judges reviewed the nominations and selected the finalists.

Following are the finalists for each of the five categories. Photos were provided by companies except where otherwise noted.

Innovation of the Year B2B

OptConnect neo2

Submitted by OptConnect

As connectivity to the cloud becomes more critical, neo2 adds connections and carrier redundancy to ensure high uptime.The neo2, an LTE Category 4 multi-carrier cellular router, offers dual carrier functionality for kiosks, vending machines, micro markets, digital signs and other applications that require high speed connectivity.

Built in the same form factor as its predecessor router, the neo2 includes a second Ethernet port that connects two devices to a single router, enabling greater flexibility and double the connectivity power.

The unit comes with the full bundle of OptConnect’s managed solutions and services in addition to a lifetime license to Summit, OptConnect’s cloud-based monitoring platform.

The neo2 also includes Glimpse, an on-board API to respond to requests and communicate how the cellular connection is performing.

Samsung All-In-One Kiosk Powered by Grubbrr

Submitted by Grubbrr

Grubbrr’s proprietary software enables the customer to select offerings from the digital touchscreen that features menu upsells that drive incremental revenue. The checkout screen presents cash, credit, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and other contactless payment options.This “restaurant of the future” powered by Grubbrr integrates all customer touchpoints, featuring the All-in-One Samsung self-service kiosk, including a touchscreen, printer, scanner and payment device.

The system features an order progress board for customers to view the status of their order: in progress, ready and picked up – in addition to menu boards that highlight top-selling menu items determined by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Once orders are made, the kitchen display system delineates between take out and dine in, and can route to different stations in the store. Once the items are prepared, the staff takes them to the pickup locker, prompting a text to the consumer notifying them the order is ready. The customer then uses their phone to scan the QR code at the locker, allowing them to open the door.

The kiosk can be installed on a countertop or table, on the ground with a stand or mounted to a wall.

Innovation of the Year B2C

Send Self-Service Shipping Kiosk

Submitted by The Perfect Shipping LLC

The user opens the Send app or asks for a tablet and enters their shipping information. The software then sends a QR code that allows the user to send boxes or envelopes placed on the kiosk.The Self-Service Shipping Kiosk allows a business or organization to offer a shipping service on-site. The solution combines 3D dimensioning, computer vision, artificial intelligence, address validation, real-time alerts and cloud-based dashboards.

Scanning the barcode against the camera on the kiosk then prompts delivery options to appear on the touchscreen. After selecting their options, the user then pays with a credit card and gets a printed sticker which they place on the box or envelope.

The box or envelope is then ready for delivery.

Niska Retail Robotics Ice Cream Bar

Submitted by Niska Retail Robotics

A humanoid robot at the ice cream bar verbally invites the customer to place their order on the touchscreen and guides them through the ordering process, simulating a physical ordering process. The customer receives an order ticket once the process is complete.The Niska Robotic Ice Cream Bar provides an interactive retail experience, utilizing the integration of physical, electrical and pneumatic designs of the ice cream scooping mechanism with fluctuating material handling in the form of ice cream or gelato.

The customer then watches as the robotic arms scoop from the various product bays and prepare the order. When the order is ready, the customer insets their order ticket into a slot near the pickup window and opens the appropriate glassfront compartment and takes their order.

The novelty of watching robots prepare orders provides an engaging as well as sanitary and convenient experience.

Best COVID-19 Solution


Submitted by Neonode

The system is as easy to use as plugging in a USB mouse and can be set up on top of existing touchscreens.The Happyhover retrofit solution from Neonode uses mid-air technology that detects fingers before they touch the screen, removing the need to touch surfaces, and can accommodate gloves, wet and greasy hands and long finger nails.

The software is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Google Android and Linux operating systems.

Happyhover has been applied in airports at self check-in, bag drop, self checkout, weighing scale, queuing ticketing, feedback and self registration kiosks. It has also been installed in hospitals and supermarkets.

Freetouch touchless interactivity

Submitted by Freetouch

The user snaps an onscreen QR code to connect to and control the screen display with no app download or sign up. The user can click, scroll, type and perform multi-touch gestures on the display.The Freetouch SaaS solution converts kiosk and digital signage displays to touch-free interaction.

The software turns any mobile device into a safe remote trackpad and keyboard, leveraging touch input and eliminating the user learning curve and the need for direct contact with public facing displays.

A Microsoft Azure hosted backbone enables Freetouch to serve large numbers of customers, with servers located worldwide. A routing mechanism automatically directs customers to the lowest latency server for their connection.

The system is GDRP compliant, taking no personally identifiable information.

Reader’s Choice Innovator of the Year (Company)


Submitted by Vispero

Having embraced the use of kiosks since 2015, McDonald’s this past year stepped it up by focusing on accessibility and usability for customers with disabilities. The company has upgraded the experience to allow customers who are blind and have low vision to order a meal via an accessible, usable self-service kiosk.

The kiosks have been equipped with the Storm interface, AudioNav and the JAWS kiosk screen reader.

Accessibility features are activated automatically via the insertion of headphones into the headphone jack. The JAWS screen reader launches, and a welcome message begins, providing context and instructions to the user. The AudioNav input device can then navigate through the application, with each element being spoken for those that are unable to view the screen. (Photo: iStock).

365 Retail Markets

Submitted by 365 Retail Markets

In recent years, the company has merged with other industry players to ensure customers have one complete convenience experience.365 Retail Markets offers an exceptionally wide variety of self-pay, micro markets, dining, vending and OCS solutions. The company also provides strategic business partnerships to operators and their customers with solutions to meet the changing needs of locations, sites and business objectives.

The 2019 acquisition of Company Kitchen expanded 365’s leadership position by enhancing self-service dining with Company Kitchen’s customer engagement, dining and self-service technologies.

In 2020, the company acquired Stockwell, providing a retail platform focusing on artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision.

In 2021, LightSpeed Automation and Avanti Markets became part of the 365 family to provide additional technologies.

The company now offers foodservice convenience technologies ranging from micro markets to vending to mobile to dining to coolers.

Reader’s Choice Innovator of the Year (Person)

Arthur Siller, senior vice president, operations and business development, Evergreen Refreshments

Nominated by Xaira Jimenez, marketing coordinator at Evergreen Refreshments

Siller is a customer focused leader and renowned industry mentor at a company with 180 employees and three branches across Washington and Oregon. He has helped hundreds of businesses transform their food offerings.(Photo: LinkedIn)

Fanie Hendriksz, managing director, Right ePharmacy

Nominated by Natasja Martens, a partner at Oxigen Communications Pty. Ltd.

Under Hendriksz’s leadership, Right ePharmacy is enhancing differentiated models of pharmaceutical care in Africa. Since joining the company in 2016, he has led a team devoted to harnessing technology to improve the healthcare landscape in Africa.

He is a registered pharmacist with 21 years of experience as an executive director.

The Self-Service Innovation Awards judges include:

  • Michael Kasavana, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the National Automatic Merchandising Association.
  • Elliot Maras, editor of Kiosk Marketplace and Vending Times.
  • Judy Mottl, editor of Retail Customer Experience and Food Truck Operator.
  • Bradley Cooper, editor of ATM Marketplace.

To register for the Summit, click here.

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the tech, banking, retail and food service industries. Online properties include,,,,,,,, and Annual events include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit, the Bank Customer Experience Summit (BCX), the Interactive Customer Experience Summit (ICX) and the Self-Service Innovation Summit.

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