Modern Vending Machines
Vending machines are the ultimate time saver when it comes to buying and selling food, drink and pretty much anything really. There’s no need for the vending machine owner to pay staff to sell products and there’s no need for consumers to be restricted to shop opening hours.
In India, the newest product to be sold in them is gold coins and medallions which are bought as tokens to observe traditions on auspicious days. The machines are also installed in China and interest is growing in them.
It’s food and drink though that is perhaps the most common type of product sold in vending machines in the UK. They can be found in schools, leisure centres, cinemas, offices, hospitals and more.
The technology has come along a lot since the days when only food and drink that is long-life and designed to be served at room temperature could be vended.
Hot pizza machines are being trialled in New York which bake in 90 seconds and baguette vending machines are now selling bread in France.
The technology for payment has also moved on in leaps and bounds. Firstly, machines were able to offer change, removing the need for exact money, and then they were able to accept credit cards to take payment. Now, you can even pay by mobile phone – you get a code texted to you and the charge for the item is made to your phone bill.
There are plenty of unexpected things to be found in modern vending machines. You can hire hair straighteners by paying for them to be heated up for two minutes – perfect for making adjustments on a night out.
In Holland you can borrow a bike from their Bikedispenser, which is ideal for a flat country obsessed by bicycles.
You can even buy clothes from machines. Trainers, underwear and more are no problem even if the shops are shut.
In America, it’s also possible to get your prescription medication without intervention from a human. The solution is called InstyMeds and it allows you to cut out the queues at the pharmacy.
Even live animals can be vended! In China, it’s possible to buy a live crab. The crustaceans are kept chilled to put them into a dormant state and they are packed into plastic boxes (with air holes).
It is clear to see that modern vending machines have come a long way from the basic offerings of only a few years ago. Who knows where they will be in the future