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2108results about "Apparatus for dispensing fluids/granular materials" patented technology

Cellular telephone-based transaction processing

A retail transaction system provides enhanced customer convenience and increased transaction security by sending transaction information to a cellular network provider via a customer's digital cellular phone. For example, a fuel dispenser is equipped with a communications link allowing direct communications to a customer's cellular phone. When a customer desires to conduct a transaction using the fuel dispenser, the fuel dispenser transmits select information to the customer's cellular telephone using this communications link. A telephone number is included in the select information. When the customer presses send, or otherwise causes their telephone to dial the number transferred from the fuel dispenser, the select information along with any additional customer information is sent to the cellular network. This information is used by the network to authorize a purchase transaction for the customer, such authorization information returned to the fueling station at which the fuel dispenser is located via a cellular link. For enhanced security, the customer may be required to input their PIN in order to complete the transaction. Notably, the PIN and the remainder of the transaction information sent from the customer phone to the cellular network is intrinsically secure due to the digital encryption employed by the digital cellular protocol. Optionally, the system may be configured to cause the customer's cellular phone to automatically dial the number transferred by the fuel dispenser. This capability may be enabled at the customer's option. The system may be extended to other retail systems including in-store point-of-sale systems (POS).

Fuel dispensing and retail system for providing customer selected guidelines and limitations

The present invention provides a fuel dispensing system for setting transaction parameters in association with a remote communications unit. This system will include wireless or radio communications electronics adapted to receive signals from remote communications units, a transaction interface for carrying out transactions, and a control system and associated memory operating in conjunction with the communications electronics and a transaction interface. The control system is adapted to receive indicia from a remote communications unit and control the transaction at the transaction interface involving the remote communications unit according to predefined parameters associated with the remote communications unit. Any identification indicia and predefined parameters may be stored in the memory in association with the remote communications unit and the control system may be adapted to access these predefined parameters in the memory upon receipt of the identification indicia and control the transaction accordingly. Alternatively, the predefined parameters may be transmitted directly from the remote communications unit to the communications electronics and control system. The predefined parameters may limit a transaction to a select type or grade of fuel, a select type or amount of a product or service, as well as limiting or preventing the purchase of certain products or services. Notably, the control system may include a dispenser control system, a central site control system, a control system associated with a remote network, or a combination thereof.

Dispensing system and method with radio frequency customer identification

A system and method for providing a fuel dispenser with radio frequency customer identification capabilities. The system and method determines whether a transponder containing customer identification data is within range of a dispenser, the dispenser requiring activation by the customer to initiate a transaction and including a reader associated therewith for emitting radio frequency signals within the dispenser range, and for receiving customer identification data from the transponder responsive to the emitted radio frequency signals received by the transponder. When the transponder is within range of the dispenser, an in-range indication is provided to the customer. A determination is made whether the dispenser has been activated by the customer following a determination that the transponder is within the dispenser range. Upon activation of the dispenser following the determination that the transponder is within the dispenser range, the customer identification data received by the reader is associated with a transaction at the activated dispenser, whereupon the transaction at the activated dispenser is permitted and charged to the customer according to the customer identification data. The system easily retrofits onto an existing, conventional fuel dispenser.

Hot dairy-based beverage dispenser

A dispensing unit for dispensing hot, dairy-based beverages has a self-contained refrigerated unit located above a venturi-type emulsification foaming head. The dispensing unit has particular applicability to the dispensation of foamy, hot milk for use in beverages such as cappuccino and nonfoamy, hot milk for use in beverages such as coffee latte, hot chocolate, and other hot dairy-based beverages. The refrigeration unit accommodates a "bag in box" cold milk storage container of the type widely used in food service establishments. The dispensing unit employs a pinch valve that avoids direct contact between the milk and the valve components. The refrigerated milk is stored above the level of the foamer head so that the flow of milk results partially from gravitational force on the milk, and is not totally dependent upon venturi suction created in the foamer head. Also, selective actuation of beverage choice switches generates commands to produce different beverages at different temperatures. This is achieved by raising or lowering the steam temperature from a standby temperature as an immediate response to depression of a selection button. Air utilized in creating a foamy hot milk mixture may be supplied at a positive pressure above atmospheric pressure, rather than merely through venturi suction from the ambient atmosphere. In addition, following the dispensation of each portion of a beverage, the system automatically discharges a quantity of purging water to clean out the air line and air nozzle, so as to avoid contamination of those components by contact with milk flowing through the foamer head.
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