Yet for some reason the machines always produce a beverage almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea
Japan is home to a lot of vending machines, some estimations placing one machine for every 23 people, and they're getting "smarter." In 2008, some cigarette vending machines had a digital camera with equipment to judge the age of the cigarette buyer, though relatively small magazine pictures could fool most of these new machines. In the last few months, JR East Water Business Co, a subsidiary of train operator East Japan Railway, has started to roll out high-tech vending machines that recommend a drink based on the users age and gender, using facial recognition technology and drink-preference data. [more inside]
Vending Machines of Japan PhotoMann recently decided to 'collect' images of unique vending machines found in Japan. They are everywhere. Estimates suggest there are 5.6 million vending machines which works out to be one for every 20 people in Japan. Sales from vending machines in 2000 totaled $56 billion! The most common are drink and cigarette machines followed by machines with pornography
Koolio is a traveling autonomous refrigerator robot ... a cross between R2D2 and a vending machine.
Things That Have Been Sold In Vending Machines. Also, Skybox, the world's first vending machine for home use.
Cigarette vending machines put to a good use. The Artomat project makes local art available in cigarette box size packages for a mere $5 a pop. Find out the location of a machine near you.
Underwear, raw eggs, temporary tattoos, condoms designed to match your blood type, emu jerky, marijuana, hot noodles, super glue. What do they all have in common, besides possibly being things you need to have a really unforgettable Saturday night? They're all things that have been sold in vending machines. From Raphael Carter, author of the insect-centric Honeyguide weblog.
Semi-famous Seattle artist Jim Woodring, author of Frank (zipped pdf comic), has created some nifty toys for Japanese vending machines (flash, click red sphere -> products -> jim woodring).