When the vending machine’s camera recognises that nobody is within a 10 foot radius, it uses the large digital display to showcase advertising. But if somebody was to enter a 3 foot proximity, the larger ad disappears, replaced by a touchscreen menu to purchase the contents of the machine. You can scroll through the products using the touchscreen, with dynamic backgrounds changing depending on what product is currently highlighted.
The demo unit then used a smart cashcard to make the necessary payment, before the drink was released.
But while touchscreens and cameras are all fun and exciting, there are a couple of other logical and impressive functions built in to these new vending machines. For a start, wireless connectivity allows companies to monitor them remotely, allowing contents to be refilled only when they’re empty, rather than on a regular basis whether they are needed or not.
The other intelligent development is analytics. The camera in the vending machine uses face detection technology to determine sex and approximate age bracket of customers, which can be used to then appeal to advertisers hoping to reach certain demographics.
We think we’re facing in life size iPhone application, padded with incredible features including large resistive touchscreen, an inbuilt camera and has the ability to connect to wireless networks over 3G, Wifi or Wimax (far from the crazy first banana vending machine). Intel together with Japanese vending machine companies show off the future of vending machine at Digital Signage World Sydney, revealing a multi-functional vending machine.
You can check out the video to see the actual demo. One thing we hope is that this thing should be ship now, lucky those Japanese who have already enjoying this technology.