Augmented Reality finds new home in Japanese vending machines.

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by Mike
Posted December 8th, 2009 at 9:34 am

You know, with each and every “far out there” or geeky invention I see come forth from the great island way out east, I find myself second guessing my decision of staying here in the states. Of course, I don’t have too many options at the moment, finishing school and all. But nothing can quite compare to the uniquely weird things that Japan’s greatest minds put forth. Case in point: AR equipped vending machines. If you though AR was just for mobile devices and happened to stroll by one of currently three test locations for Tokyo’s latest craze, you’d be dumbfounded and awestruck to say the least.

Instead of merely choosing a product, slipping in some money, and walking off with your delectable treat, citizens of Tokyo can now interact with their food (didn’t your mother always tell you not to play with your food…?) in ways that should make any nerd quiver with unabated excitement. The first of many things that make’s Japan’s tech scene so much better than ours in regards to AR equipped vending machines is — (1) Customers can bring a printed or digital (on phone screen) copy of a QR code to a vending machine, scan it in and receive a free product sample. The road keeps going however with (2) an expanded experience as after buying any product, holding it within eye’s reach of your smart vending machine will ’splay across the machine a visual symphony of infographs attempting to draw you deeper in, wanting and needing to spend more.

At the very least, it’s a novel concept that ads ever more flare and geekery to a typical Japanese citizen’s daily lives. Hey, I’m far from complaining or mocking. Hell, their vending machines have AR! I’m stuck here in northing Indiana wondering why I can’t get a damn traffic controlled light at the end of my block in the year 2009. We’ve all been there, the lone red light that waits for no one. See you in Tokyo…

Gizmodo > Uberigizmo > TechOn

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