Japan has developed quite a reputation for their vending machines. They just seem to have the weirdest and most random things available for purchase. And that is not a bad thing, by any means. On the contrary, it’s innovative and refreshing. But besides purchasing fresh fish and bicycles from a vending machine, you can now enjoy free Wi-fi! Asahi Soft Drinks developed a vending machine that not only dispenses soft drinks, but a wireless signal at absolutely no cost to the consumer.
The signal is good within a 50 meter radius and you can use it on your smartphone, tablet computer, laptop, or any other gadget that you have in tow. However, you can only be continuously connected to the signal for 30 minutes at a time. Once you get kicked off though, you can log right back on. All you have to do is handle an onset of annoying ads from local businesses after the initial login.
Asahi is hoping these nifty vending machines will expand their business by drawing in customers. I mean if you’re going to be sitting there for quite some time surfing the web, you might work up a thirst. They plan on releasing 1,000 machines within the next year and 10,000 within the next 5.
It seems vending machines are doing a lot more than just selling candy bars and soda these days. Kraft is taking their vending machines to a whole new level by using them to study how consumers shop. The iSample’s goal is to tailor the product to the shopper in mind. Kraft teamed up with Intel on this project using an optical sensor to view the shape of the face. It then performs calculations based on the measurements of a person’s face, such as the distance between the eyes and nose.
All this information is used to determine the gender of the shopper and to place them in an age bracket. It’s done within a matter of seconds. Currently they are using the machines to do a trial of Temptations, a jelly-based dessert. There are only two machines right now, one in Chicago and another in New York. A director at Kraft stated, “Our ultimate goal is to bring value to both our retailers and our brands by better understanding consumer engagement with our products.”
It’s always cool to see new technology being implemented in what was once a simple snack machine. This is the kind of focus that IDS loves to see in custom vending machines!
Typically when one thinks about office vending machines, there is the assumption that it’s full of soda, water, and snacks. It’s the food you need to combat the 3 pm lull. But IDS is looking to revolutionize the vending machine business. Instead of candy and soda in their office vending machines, they’re filled with useful items like notepads, pens, scissors, and staplers.
But shouldn’t these items be automatically provided for employees? Yes there should be certain items you give to employees, but we all know there are many people who enjoy pillaging office supplies. Office vending machines are a way to curb this problem and to have better control over the budget. Office supplies aren’t cheap and depending on how quickly you go through them and how many employees you have, the costs can be enormous. But if you’re forcing people to only take what they need, you’ll be amazed at how much money you will save and how much longer those supplies will actually last.
What really makes these machines cool is the inventory report feature. The reports will always tell you what needs to be restocked and will keep track of all items purchased.
The wonderful aspect of Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is that they are not solely focused on food and drink vending machines. While that’s still a popular design here in America, they realize that there are more items people need readily available other than food. The company has already developed a custom vending machine that can be used in gyms which allows members to simply swipe their membership cards to receive beverages, snacks, and equipment. Anything they purchase is then billed on their monthly statement from the gym.
Besides offering sports drinks and healthy snacks like protein bars, you can purchase goggles and swimming caps for the pool, replacement shoelaces, and other items you may need while working out. That’s incredibly convenient, especially if the gym isn’t close by your home. Now you don’t have to turn around and go back home for these items. They are right at your disposal.
These custom vending machines are already being used at 123 Fit, Anytime Fitness, World Gym, and Snap Fitness. But this certainly isn’t the end. They are working with more gyms to let this fantastic idea be at everyone’s fingertips. What would you like to see in a vending machine? Anything is possible with Intelligent Dispensing Solutions.
I remember the good ol’ college days. Although the days were certainly shorter than when I was in high school, I was just as exhausted and overworked as ever. I was running to work in between classes, staying up late writing papers, and attempting to read an entire novel in two days. Classes were certainly longer, sometimes nearly 3 hours long. It was often difficult to get a good night’s sleep. But instead of relying on drinks with tons of caffeine, I just made sure I had something in my system!
Food gives us the energy we need, especially when we make a healthy food choice. That’s why school vending machines can be a good thing for kids. Sometimes the lunch period is just too far away or we don’t have time in between classes to take a food break. By offering foods in school vending machines with plenty of nutritional value, we can give kids the energy they need to stay focused. When tummies are grumbling, it’s hard to think about anything else, not to mention you just don’t feel like you have the energy to make it through the next 40 minutes. Granola bars, fruit, juice, all these will keep sleep attacks at bay and help us to perform better.
School vending machines have Hershey bars, which to my youthful palate were a divine, luscious reward for a day spent among the munchkins and societal rejects who constituted the population of my school. When I felt those creamy chocolatey squares melt on my tongue, I would get excited, which was, now that I think about it, largely a reaction to sugar, and I would energetically seek my lone friend Mikey.
Mikey had a rat tail. He wasn’t the most popular kid in school but because his mom had left him when he was younger and his dad was never around he was well-respected. Mikey wasn’t a chocolate guy per se, but he knew that when I ate chocolate I became a kind of Mr. Hyde.
Together, we snuck into the girls’ bathroom and made gross farting sounds when we heard the door open, we climbed out of windows into areas of the school marked no trespassing, and we generally did whatever we weren’t supposed to do. Finally Mikey was expelled for lighting a cherry bomb in the boys bathroom. I lost my only friend. But that didn’t stop me from eating those Hershey bars from the school vending machine once 2:30 rolled around.
When I get a can of Coke from the office vending machine and it’s cool with condensation and I can just imagine the taste of that caramely sweet brown drink running down my throat refreshing me for all time, I give it a little tap with my fingernail on the top. But, people have pointed out to me that this does nothing. They’re right.
I like the way it sounds though. And, it’s easy to believe that it will prevent the soda can from fizzing uncontrollably and spilling over the sides and getting my hands all sticky. But, it’s an old wives’ tale. It doesn’t do a gosh-darned thing.
But, that doesn’t keep me from doing it. And when people tell me, why do you do that, it doesn’t make a difference, I say I don’t care. I like to hear it. And I’ll tap it for them to hear, making sure it’s really quiet and the only sound is my fingernail going tin-tin-tin. And, I’ll crack it open and take a long slug and give a refreshed ahhh and they’ll look at me and I’ll look back with a crazy eye that says don’t tell me how to drink my vending machines soda.
In my office vending machines there is so much to taste. I try not to taste the same things every day because I don’t like getting into habits of eating the same thing all the time, although it is relatively easy to do so. I wish that I had my own private vending machines that I could use my own currency for, with a picture of my own face on the front and an eagle on the back, since my last name means eagle in German and I still take pride in being an American.
The first vending machines were built to dispense holy water by Heron of Alexandria. He was a famous engineer of his time, back in the first century AD. If only he knew what his invention would become two thousand years later.
I love hearing the machine work, the way it releases its products onto its floor and the little doggy door that allows me to reach in and take. When I was little I always tried to get my arm up into the vending machine to take an extra candy bar for free — I was trying to steal — but thankfully I hurt my arm once and I learned my lesson.
Custom vending machines have a lot to offer. I’ve seen packets of organic jerky selling for $9 in vending machines in an artist’s loft. Hard to believe that artists can afford to pay so much for dried meat but they are stubborn and you can bet that when they get a craving nothing will stop them.
It makes me wish that custom vending machines sold filet mignon and buttered mashed potatoes, ready for the microwave, but it would be impossible (wouldn’t it?) to keep filet mignon in a vending machine nice and hot. Although, don’t they have those custom vending machines with a kitchen in back, serving out fresh food each time someone chooses an item? They’re especially good for late-night dining, because honestly, who wants to have a service transaction when you’re six beers deep and it’s four o’clock in the morning?
Custom vending machines offer such freedom. I would put ping pong balls and crabcakes and bandannas and peanuts and salt and vinegar potato chips and sushi and cherry Coke and bicycle grease and lip balm and apples and gum in my vending machine, if I had my own. But, you know most people prefer the traditional stuff.
Different parts of the country have different preferred soft drinks. In Georgia, they drink Coke. In Texas, they drink Dr. Pepper.
This soda is unlike any other. Brooklyn-born pharmacist Charles Alderton formulated the drink in Waco, TX in 1885, touting its 23 flavors on a national level by 1904. Today Dr. Pepper can be found in many school vending machines and office vending machines. No one knows what flavors were blended to create the unique taste, and many have speculated. And with so many possible factors, it’s impossible to know with certainty.
One thing’s for sure: Dr. Pepper is a tasty alternative to Coca-Cola. In fact, Coke knew this and tried naming what would eventually become Mr. Pibb, Peppo. Dr. Pepper sued them and they changed the name to Dr. Peppo, which they were sued for again, so it became the much less tasty Mr. Pibb.
It’s hard to classify Dr. Pepper, yet that is arguably what has helped it stay so successful throughout the years. Its myriad flavors are a great way to break from the regularity of a lemon lime soda or a cola and if you’re ever in Texas, you know what drink to choose from an office vending machine. Enjoy!