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Japanese vending machine doubles as WiFi hotspot -- no purchase required

Edgar Alvarez, @abcdedgar
December 28, 2011
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It looks as if facial scans for snack-dispensing purposes isn't the only mind-blowing feature on the whiz-bang generation of vending machines. Japanese company Asahi has just unveiled an advanced dispenser that's capable of doubling as a WiFi hotspot, so good luck getting through the mobs of leechers just to buy a soda. The machine sends out the internet waves free of charge and covers about 164 feet around it; of note, there's a 30-minute limit on each session -- but it's nothing that a fresh login can't solve. Asahi is planning on rolling out 1,000 of these in the upcoming year, but if you don't call the Land of the Rising Sun your home, you won't be able to experience the smart vendors anytime soon. Now, if only this same magic would slide over to park benches, blades of grass and molecules of oxygen, we'd be content.

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