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Zoom Shop for iPod – Auto Integration a Must

We decided to roll off the hill Saturday morning and drive overland the ten miles or so to Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Wandered through the neighborhoods looking at nosebleed priced homes of the fabulously wealthy (where do they get all the $$$$$$?) and even rode the Balboa ferry from Balboa Peninsula to Balboa Island (truly funky in spots – for multi-jillion dollar postage stamp sized abodes).
On the way back, we stopped by a Von’s Pavilion (big supermarket) on Newport Coast Drive and lo and behold, she who must be obeyed saw a Zoom Shop for Apple iPods. Here, just by inserting your credit card, this machine will dispense iPod accessories, iPod nanos, video iPods. Interesting concept that just reinforces the contention that cars today need to have iPod integration available if not standard.
As AutoPacific and VehicleVoice research continues to confirm, iPods are one of the fastest rising personal technology items a person owns. The car company that is not planning on some integration path for iPods is failing in its planning function.


Migod! If they are dispensing the things from vending machines now, what’s going to stop them?

By the way, we don’t know anything about Zoom Systems other than having seen their Zoom Shop but they do have a rudimentary website that explains they are trying to expand from 3,000 high-performance “robotic delivery” store fronts to 10,000 in five years.
Their company blurb reads like this:
Company Vision
We strive to continue as one the world’s fastest growing retailers by expanding our network to 3,000 high-performance store fronts by 2007 and to 10,000 stores within 5 years. We will continue to innovate to remain first mover and market leader in the Automated Retail business.
Company Background
Zoom Systems was founded in Australia in 1997. The company migrated its headquarters and operations to San Francisco in January 2000. Zoom Systems raised in excess of $20 million from Asian and US venture and institutional investors to develop and prove its technology platform. In March 2002, NewZoom Inc became the parent company after acquiring the business and assets from Zoom Systems Corporation and recapitalizing its balance sheet. After proving its technology in the USA and Germany, Zoom Systems partnered with a $23 billion Japanese manufacturer recognized as a world market leader in robotic delivery hardware. Zooms’ proven software and network platform was integrated with the world-leading robotic hardware and key members of the Japanese team relocated to North America to establish volume manufacturing exclusively for Zoom Systems. In July 2004 NewZoom Inc raised a further $6.3 million in equity led by Sierra Ventures ( These funds were used to establish a talented team of experienced executives and to develop the Zoom robotic shop, and prepare the company for major commercial expansion. The first robotic shops were installed in the USA in March 2005 with results indicating that Zoom is destined to change the retail industry. In July 2005, Zoom Systems closed a $12M Series B round led by NeoCarta Ventures ( to accelerate deployment of Zoom’s robotic stores and place iconic brands and high demand products directly in the path of consumers.

1 Comment

  • David B| March 27, 2006 at 6:49 am

    Yes, I used to live at the top of Newport Coast Drive and the Vons has had the iPod Zoom machine in the store for quite some time. I did notice that typically they had iPod models that had been recently discontinued, so I wonder if they specialize in End of Life models… With rumors rife of a new wide-screen iPod for video, it will be interesting to see how the model lineup evolves with these in-store devices. And, let’s not forget the new Apple mini-stores (such as on the campus of Stanford University) – they are unmanned and essentially offer 1,000 square feet of automated cafeteria-style sales machines – all with credit card devices for payment. Changing times…

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