We all know Japan is the land of the vending machine with intelligent vending machines, eco vending machines and now thanks to Asahi Beverages a new Wi-Fi service vending machine. The drinks manufacturer announced yesterday that it will roll out a brand new machine that along with providing the usual beverage choices will dispense free wi-fi signals to anyone using it within a 50m radius.
The company looks to roll out 1,000 next year and up to 10,000 more in the next five years. Users can connect to the free wi-fi with any wi-fi receiving device including smartphones, tablets and games consoles. As well as browsing the internet, the home page shown to users on the network will display local shop and restaurant information around the vending machine location, product information on the drinks the machine holds and original content and tourist information. Each user can connect for a maximum of thirty minutes before having to reconnect again, and the router wil be capable of handling multiple devices at once
“In addition as functioning as an importnat lifeline providing drinks the vending machine will also serve as an information center in an effort to increase convenience of use to customers. The information given out could also go toward helping the revitalisation of local areas and communities around the machine” commented a spokesperson for Asahi. With the sheer numbers of vending machines throughout Japan more and more ways of adding interaction or extra services to customers are being thought up by drinks companies. This kind of practical addition to the ubiquitous technology is another step in progressing toward a future smart city where information exchange and infrastructure are a seamless integrated part of daily life wherever we are.