Japanese taste the future with hi-tech vending machines

No one has embraced the technological revolution quite like the Japanese.

And when we say embraced, we mean produced a number of impressive, hi-tech gizmos and gadgets that could definitely be classified as exorbitant.

And this latest bit of futuristic kit, without doubt, falls into that category.

Because Japanese firm JR East has developed a vending machine that does away with the old fashioned method of simply looking through the glass and choosing the actual product you want, and instead gives the user a digital representation of what's on offer via a 47-inch touchscreen display.

The display is also fully customised for the user, based on their age and gender, (it scans them using an embedded camera) and can also use its WiMAX capabilities to store buyers' purchase history.

The first one of these machines went live at Tokyo's Shinagawa Station earlier this week and there are plans afoot to get 500 more installed around the Japanese capital within 2 years.

Pocket-lint is all for replacing outdated machines with contemporary equivalents, but we do have one issue with JR East's vending machine: How do you know when to give the machine a good shaking?

After all, without a glass window to view the offerings inside, you won't be able to see that bag of Skittles balancing perilously on the edge.

The video above shows a touchscreen Coke vending machine we got our hands on at CES in 2009. You have to admit that the Japanese version trumps that, we mean there's no camera and a distinct lack of WiMAX action.



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