Self-Service Innovation Awards

We will honor the most innovative use of kiosks, vending and facilities for adapting to the new normalcy of COVID-19 and its aftermath.

Readers of Kiosk Marketplace and Vending Times submitted nominations from August through October. A panel of judges reviewed the nominations and selected the winners in each category.


Innovation of the Year (B2B):

  • ema smart embedded modem, Submitted by OptConnect
  • PicoCooler, Submitted by 365 Retail Markets
  • Video Call Center, Submitted by Compunetix

Innovation of the Year (B2C):

  • Freestyle Contactless Pouring on a Smartphone, Submitted by the Coca-Cola Co.
  • ONQ Converge Digital Engagement, Submitted by OnQ
  • RC Barista Unattended Robotic Café, Submitted by RC Coffee

Best COVID-19 Solution:

  • Contactless Touch for Interactive Kiosks, Submitted by Neonode
  • Personnel Management Kiosk, Submitted by Meridian
  • TouchFree, Submitted by Ultraleap

Click here to learn more about the Innovation of the Year (B2B & B2C) and Best COVID-19 Solution finalists.

Reader’s Choice Award: Innovator of the Year (Company)

  • Chowbotics
  • Grubbrr
  • PopID
  • Standard Cognition

Reader’s Choice Award: Innovator of the Year (Person)

  • Geoff Alexander
  • Ruth Crowley
  • Luke Saunders
  • Krishna Vedula
  • Renee Walsh

Click here to learn more about the Reader’s Choice finalists.

Click here to learn more about the Self-Service Innovation Awards.


Jim Ensign | Chief Digital Officer | Republic Bank & Trust and MemoryBank

Jim Ensign is Chief Digital Officer for Republic Bank & Trust Company, developing digital strategy, customer experience and marketing with a focus on their recently launched national digital-only division MemoryBank ( Jim’s path into digital banking leadership was different than most, with a history of leading digital transformation in retail and marketing companies. Just prior to joining Republic Bank, Jim, as VP/Global Digital for Papa John’s International, led their transformation from a traditional delivery chain taking orders over the phone to a global digital-first company with the majority of sales coming through mobile and web.

Ed O’Brien | EVP Research & Strategy | ath Power Consulting

Ed O’Brien has extensive experience as an industry analyst, and in various areas of Marketing, Market Research, Strategy, and Operations. This experience includes roles in Banking and Financial Services, Enterprise Software, Consulting, and Manufacturing firms. This background includes Industry Analysis and Strategy, Market and Competitive Intelligence, Product Marketing and Product Management, and Analytics roles. Ed has researched and written over 150 syndicated industry reports, research notes, and other materials, and has been interviewed or quoted by such media and industry outlets as American Banker, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC, Fortune, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Charlotte Observer, The LA Times, and The New York Times.

Eric Schaffer, PhD | CEO & Founder | Human Factors International

Dr. Eric Schaffer is CEO of Human Factors International, Inc (The UX Engineering agency that design the HDFC application that won ‘Best Mobile Experience’). Eric Has over 40 years of experience in UX design, with special interests in omni-channel strategy, persuasion engineering, cross cultural design, innovation, and the maturity large scale UX practices. He wrote “Institutionalization of UX” (Addison-Wesley).


Will Hernandez | Editor | Mobile Payments Today

Will Hernandez has 14 years of experience ranging from newspapers to wire services and trade publications. Before becoming Editor of Mobile Payments Today, he spent two years as the content manager for, a leading payments industry news aggregator and information hub published by Mercator Advisory Group. He spent four years covering the payments industry as an associate editor for multiple publications in SourceMedia’s Payments Group based in Chicago including ATM&Debit News, CardLine,, ISO&Agent Weekly and American Banker. Will helped launched SourceMedia’s bi-weekly newsletter, Mobile Banker, and built and cultivated the Payments Group’s first Twitter presence.

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