TOKYO--Japan has vending machines that can talk to you, sell you everything from bags of rice to porn magazines to bouquets of flowers, and recharge your phone. But a new breed of automated seller has smarts, too--these machines can detect your age and gender and offer drink suggestions accordingly.
Can you spare some change, like a few hundred? I'd like to buy some gold from a vending machine.
It sounds like a tacky casino attraction, but a gold vending machine that's been set up at a hotel in Abu Dhabi is the real thing.
While it doesn't seem to be an immediate threat to your friendly, neighborhood hot dog stand, a hot dog vending machine could someday be coming to a corner near you. Or to an industrial complex. Or to the supermarket. Or to wherever vending machines happen to congregate. The Hot Choice fully-automated vending machine, created by KRH Thermal, promises to provide a freshly-cooked hot meal in 90 seconds. Clearly, vending is not just for cans of soda and bags of chips any longer.
It only took the Gadgettes one minute to break the cardinal rule: do not talk about "the device that shall not be named." We learn our lesson and boycott "it" for the rest of the episode. So here's everything but.Listen now: Download today's podcast Episode 97
Get your cat whipped into a frenzy for your enjoyment http://dvice.com/archives/2008/07/get_your_cat_wh.php
Got a lead foot? … Read more
Imagine you're on a road trip and that inner stomach clock starts ticking. You peer along the horizon searching for quick, fast, and easy road food. With visions of previous stops of greasy burgers and suspect tacos, you roll into a gas station unable to make a decision. Perhaps another bag of chips or a cellophane-wrapped sandwich will quell the rising hunger. You make your way past the nacho cheese and the perpetually rolling hot dogs, and suddenly a bright, oddly shaped contraption catches your eye.
Not only does the Cucina 2000 look and sound like a robot, it … Read more
This "Child Check System" introduced by Japanese company Fujitaka uses facial recognition to determine if the person buying cigarettes is over the legal age limit, which is currently 20 in Japan. A camera embedded in the vending machine takes a picture, then compares it with its database of 100,000 faces.
The system even checks for lines and skin tones to estimate a person's age. It will be installed in about half a million vending machines in Japan from July this year.
Whether this actually works in stopping underaged consumers from smoking is still too early to … Read more
Forget the Slow Food movement. True geeks are in a rush to spend their cash on the latest electronics, not snobby epicure. So when we spotted a fast-food restaurant that's automated, our heart rates sped up accordingly.
Kitchen Mogu Mogu is a Singapore-based Japanese fast-food restaurant that styles itself after similar dining concepts in Japan. In fact, it feels like buying from a vending machine, only in this case it's hot Japanese grub, not sodas or candy bars.
The transaction is easy. Tap the touch screen for your orders and make your payment. You can choose to pay … Read more
As a wise woman once said, "Socks rock." Most people never leave home without a pair of socks, at least if they're wearing shoes.
But just in case, the Gallo stockings vending machine allows anyone to protect their feet from the inside of their shoes in a pinch.
The psychedelic Italian vending machine dispenses a wide array of absorbent footwear, perfect for yuletide emergencies, ad-hoc puppetry sessions, or avoiding fashion police busts.
Unfortunately, seeing and using the machine could lead to a frustrating infinite loop.
1. You see the machine.
2. It blows your socks off.
3. … Read more
I love pizza. I really do. I think "pizza" might have been my first word as a kid. No, I am not a Ninja Turtle. But goshdarnit, I think pizza is the greatest thing ever invented. Which is why I am slightly enamored with Wonderpizza, which is manufacturing a vending machine for pizzas. A combination of pizza and gadgets? That just makes me smile. A lot. With a Wonderpizza vending machine, you can order up a nine-inch tomato pie that will be hot and ready in just two minutes, and three different flavor options are available at any … Read more