Smart Vending Machines unveiled in Japan

Japan is vending machine land and it is estimated that there is a vending machine for every 23 Japanese person. Billions on dollars of sales are generated each year by vending machines in Japan  so there is stiff competition from manufacturers to stay ahead of rivals and attract more customers to use the machines more often. A couple of “smart vending machines” were revealed in Tokyo earlier this month this brings a whole new set of tools to the drink dispensing wars.

When a customer approaches the machine it scans them revealing their gender, age and more. It then suggests which drinks the customer would like and stores information on product purchases for future marketing use to see which drinks are popular to which segment of the market in whichever area etc. The machine is connected to Wimax wireless network which will stream advertisements and other promotional content when not in use while waiting on Skynet to transmit the necessary codes before it and other machines transform into  death dealers bent on terminating the human race.

500 in the next 2 Years

The high-tech vending machine was co-developed by JR East Water Business Co., Omron Corp. and Fuji Electric Retail Systems Co. Starting with a pair at Shinagawa Station, JR East aims to deploy 500 of the advanced machines at its stations in and around Tokyo over the next two years. With the enhanced promotional functions, the company expects the new machines to ring up 30% more in sales than standard units. Video [in Japanese which makes in good practice for learners like me] explaining more below.

Not just for drinks

While the majority of machines in Japan are stocked with drinks, snacks, and cigarettes, one occasionally finds vending machines selling items such as bottles of liquor, cans of beer, fried food, underwear, iPods, porn magazines, sexual lubricants, live lobsters, fresh meat, eggs and potted plants. Anybody reading this in Japan who frequents Shinagawa Station wants to check out these vending machines and send me some pics and/or videos?

Info sources
High-Tech Vending Machine Hawks Drinks At Train Station
Smart vending machines in Tokyo train station recognize age, sex
Vending Machines in Japan