Your thumbprint might soon be the key to an afternoon candy bar. A Massachusetts based vending machine company is joinng the growing ranks of companies that are field-testing new technologies.
Next Generation Vending and Food Service is experimenting with biometric vending machines that would allow a user to tie a credit card to their thumbprint.
“For a certain demographic that is pretty cool,” says company president John S. Ioannou.
Next Generation is currently testing about 60 of the biometric machines in various locations in the northeast. The company is also testing other technologies. Ioannou says the key to the transforming the vending machine business is making the consumer feel more engaged.
Implications – The desire to be a part of shifts and development in technology causes consumers to purchase items they were previously uninterested in. The convenience offered by coin-free vending machines offers customers a unique and practical buying experience. Companies can attract potential buyers by offering technological enhancements to their already-established products.
This Wall Street Journal video shows a Japanese vending machine that uses a camera to identify (guess?) your gender and age. Based on that data, and the weather, it recommends a particular drink to you. Interestingly, this report also presents banana vending machines as innovative.