Time for us to admit another entrant into the hall of unnecessary, but cool
inventions. Installed at Tokyo's Shinagawa Station yesterday, this latest spin on the vending machine dispenses with those silly windows unto what you're buying and furnishes its user with a 47-inch touch panel from which to make his (or her) selection. An embedded camera will recognize your gender and age, allowing the machine to recommend a beverage suitable to whatever stereotype is attached to your particular circumstances. And don't worry, it'll store your purchasing history too, so you can be freaked out by tailored ads every time you use it. 500 more of these WiMAX
-equipped units are planned to be installed in and around Tokyo over the next two years, with operating company JR East expecting them to tally up 30 percent more sales than their analog brethren. More bling equals higher revenue? Sounds about right.