So we tracked down one of those crazy new touchscreen- and camera-enabled vending machines
being deployed across Japan's mass transit stations at CEATEC
today; one of their claims to fame is that they're WiMAX-enabled in order to receive ads and other high-bandwidth content, so local WiMAX provider UQ
installed one of the units in its booth as a showcase of the kinds of wild and crazy things you can do with ludicrous speed. As much as we hate to admit it, we're pretty sure we'd be consuming more overpriced juice, soda, tea, coffee, and water if we had one of these near our homes -- seriously, how can you resist those cute rectangular eyes staring at you, slowly stealing your soul while asking you to "come by?"
Of course, the scary part about that is that the machine really can
see you -- it's got a camera right above the display that detects your presence, makes some snap judgments about you based on largely accurate stereotypes, and recommends certain beverages (though you're still free to choose whatever you like). The machine supports Suica payments -- a popular NFC system in these parts -- using either a Suica card or your appropriately-enabled phone, which makes blowing hundreds of yen on cans of Georgia Vintage coffee frighteningly simple. Follow the break for some video of the machine in action... or if you're planning a trip to Japan in the next couple years, expect to see these around town in some of the high-traffic train stations.
Giant touchscreen vending machine at CEATEC stares us down, offers us a frosty beverage