On a recent trip to Japan, we saw an increasing number of large format touch screen enabled “smart” vending machines.
Pictured below is the Acure machine. Last year we announced that our local partner, Minato Electronics was providing 47” projected capacitive touchscreens for a project with JR East Group. There are now around 500 of these Acure vending machines deployed in train stations around Tokyo, many in exposed, outdoor positions. All worked beautifully.
More about the Acure Vending Machine:
- The Acure is a next generation digital vending machine, deployed through the expansive network of railway stations in Japan.
- Payment can be made using traditional cash/card methods or via smartphone (using NFC technology).
- Features an integrated sensor located about the touchscreen which recognises the age and gender if each customer. The data of each purchase is then logged and used to make drink recommendations.
- The large touchscreen on each smart vending machine allows customers to select from a wide range of different bottled drinks.
- The machines are networked and when non-vending, can provide a channel for advertising or important public service messages.
During the trip, we also observed a new Coca Cola vending machine. It was deployed in an unattended, public area, when not vending, the display reverted to marketing content including some simple games to draw passing customers. It was a good example of how the operators and brand owners deploying these smart vending machines are constantly experimenting with how to engage with consumers, while increasing revenue through these machines.