Invention: Coin-operated Internet Access Vending Machine
Getting internet access while on the go has becoming a way of life but may not always be possible, particularly when you visit the areas that you are not familiar with. Seeing this problem, a lecturer at Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT) came up with an idea of inventing a coin-operated internet access machine that allows for uninterrupted net surfing.
“The Wi-Fi Vending Machine was inspired by my own lifestyle of constant traveling to the countryside, where I would encounter a problem of no access to the internet. This problem would require me to search for an internet café, which was a big inconvenience,” said Assist. Prof. Dr. Chutima Prasartkaew, lectuere at the Faculty of Science and Technology.
She started by researching about wireless internet signals and integrate them with the portable access point machine. “I discovered that the wireless LAN access point would be ideal and cost-effective because it doesn’t require cable work but still is capable of sending good signal. Network expansion is also relatively easy, thus making it adaptable for organizational setting, such as airports, hospitals, and land transport depots,” Dr. Chutima said.
The coin-operated machine sends the internet signal in a time-limited manner. Users can insert the coins based on the amount of time that they want to use the internet, and the machine will print out a user name and password. Once the time is up, the machine will stop sending the signal. It’s very simple and user-friendly,” she explained.
The machine will be ready to market in the near future, after a few adjustments have been made to the current system. Pricing is set at 35,000 baht per machine but also depends on the location, number of intended users, and area size for coverage. The price per machine will be higher if installed in a location with a large amount of users.
Currently, Dr. Chutima has applied for the patent on the invention. In the future, the machine will also have a feature to receive bank notes and give changes. The machine will send out a beeping signal when the bought access time is nearly used up. As a safety measure, the machine will also be attached with a closed-circuit camera, to monitor any suspicious activities, such as theft.