Chris Smolen founded Upstate Networks Inc in 1994, and has designed, prototyped, built, marketed, and integrates his patented technologies to multiple vending machine industry partners. His business presence is global, with over 700 customers ranging from the DoD to start-up PoS vending ventures. Additionally, Mr. Smolen is also the Principal Engineer for Upstate Networks, and is the patent holder for all of their critical enabling technologies, including MDB/USB interfacing and RS-232 connection techniques, and Bill/Coin/Magnetic swipe HW for PC / VM controllers. These products are integrated onto numerous commercial vending platforms, and their IP is licensed globally, earning their reputation as a recognized world leader.
In addition to the design, prototyping, and manufacture of hardware/firmware/ software designed to interface vending products to PCs, Mr. Smolen has developed products which perform high frequency polling requirements and protocol conversion at a very low level, making it possible for a software engineer or programmer to easily interface payment system or vending machines to a standard PC running Windows or Linux. UNI's hardware consists of single chip microprocessors, specifically Microchip's programmable ISs (PIC) with clock speed ranging from 4-20 MHz. Firmware is written entirely in assembly language using a multi-tasking kernel on a PIC, which performs protocol conversion between multi-drop bus and serial or USB interfaces. The devices are the first of their kind to perform this specific protocol conversion. Finally, the UNI team is leading the industry in the advancement of the vending machine interface from a PC to smartphones, advancing the enabling techniques and firmware to meet the need for a more secured, convenient (past cash or credit/debit) mobile platform/vending machine 'experience'.
Bachelor of Science-Electrical Engineering, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Master of Science-Computer Science, SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, Utica, NY
Post-Graduate, Computer Science, LC Smith School of Engineering, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY