Vending Machines of the Future

coke vending machine

No trip to Japan would be complete without a report about their **vending machines from the future.**

A few years back, when I traveled to Japan for the first time, friends put me on scouting missions:

>”Find the [robotic vending machine]( that follows you around Shibuya!”

>”Find the [SMART car]( vending machine!”

> “Find the umbrella / necktie / lobster / underwear vending machine!”

To varying degrees of success, those were hunted down pretty easily (although I regret never seeing the robotic Coke machine).

This time around, we had our quest to find the **facial-recognition vending machines.**

facial-recognition vending machine

The machines, developed by a subsidy of the train company JR East Co., **analyze your facial features to determine your age and gender and recommend a drink accordingly.** They also change recommendations to match time of day and temperature. It uses algorithms such as men prefer canned coffee and women like slightly sweeter drinks.

**[Sales from these machines have tripled](** in comparison to regular machines.

**The photo is of Peter, disapproving of the machine’s recommended energy drinks, since he in fact wanted an orange juice.**

A near-perfect future. ^^

Image: Japan Vending Machine Free Drinks / CC BY-SA 2.0

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