Imagine walking up to the vending machine and it automatically brewing you Coffee just the way you like it. The new generation of vending machines is able to use facial recognition software to identify the user and remember personal preferences. They can greet the user and dispense through your account without the need for coins, or use extra payment options such as Paypal or coupons.
Not only can Smart Vending Machines capture your face with Kinect-style object recognition camera’s they also can include Wi-Fi hotspots and social media sharing, should you wish to broadcast your early morning snack habits to the world. The vending machine of the future is now here and it remembers how many cups of Coffee and snacks you go through in a day.
Smart vending machines can also help you stay healthy, programmed not to dispense a product based on the fact you would be breaking your diet that you told the machine about. They can auto-suggest healthy options for your morning break. A vending machine in a hospital, for instance, could be programmed to only dispense options suitable for your age, medical record and dietary requirements.
The machine works by using motion detectors to automatically launch a greeting when a customer approaches the vending machine. The camera scans your face and using facial recognition software identifies the user and displays a personalised menu.
Critics have said that the Smart Vending Machine could be an infringement on consumer’s spending freedom and that personal information on a diet could be displayed in front of other people. However, manufacturers defend the technology and say personalisation is opt-in.
With several companies already signed up to Smart Vending, it looks set to become the replacement for the old-fashioned machines that swallow your change with a load beep.