How Do You Innovate Ice?

Ever wonder how ice stays cold at your local convenience store? You might be surprised to learn that Verizon Wireless’ network helps keep bags of ice below 32 degrees.

The vending machines that sell bags of the cold stuff are often owned by independent operators who spend time tracking inventory and checking temperatures so inventory doesn’t melt.

Connecting a machine to the Internet with traditional DSL can be pricey and requires multiple service providers. To streamline the process, Charlotte, N.C.-based Control Solutions turned to mobile technology and Verizon Wireless to provide wireless Internet service to each vending machine they monitor coast-to-coast. The solution helps save independent operators money and time in monitoring their machines.

“We sell remote thermal sensors and wireless routers that are placed inside machines that vend ice in order to transmit data constantly over the Verizon Wireless network,” said Marc Shomber, owner of Control Solutions.

Shomber and his team were recently recognized for their innovative use of mobile technology and named the third-place winner of the 2013 Verizon’s Wireless Technology Innovation Awards, an annual program that recognizes small- to mid-sized organizations that use wireless solutions to help mobilize and innovate their business processes.