Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Behold your future

Just saw this post up at the Consumerist: Are Automated Kiosks The Future of Retail Shopping?

In recent years, vending machines have gone from lunch room relics intent on eating your quarters and holding onto your Sun Chips to high-tech automated kiosks that sell everything from DVDs to ice creamwine, beauty products, useless Farmville crap, electronics, designer bags and much more. But are they here to stay or is this just a trend?

Heh...Japan has been peddling all kinds of stuff in vendos for years and years. Gaze into your future and despair, America! But seriously, I think more vending machines (or automated kiosks) are a good idea. They save space and spare me from having to interact with actual human beings.


  1. I should hope not. I don't see how a vending machine could possibly save space. Take bottled drinks, for example. Imagine how many can fit in the average vending machine; compare that to a refridgerator of the same size. In the vending machine, the bottles need to be spaced further apart.

    And maybe it's just me, but I treat money differently when a vending machine is involved. The bag of peanut butter M&M's in the break room's vending machine is $1, compared to nearly half that on a convenience store shelf, but I just can't help myself. Maybe there's something about watching my snack drop that makes it more appealing. This impulsive, free-spending attitude may help explain that wide gap in the revenue-per-square-foot stat found in the article.

    Let's not forget about the loss of jobs. Sure, there'll be some jobs created in the field of vending machine repair, but hordes of apathetic teenagers will be out of work.

    This is how Skynet starts, Paul. Be wary. Say no to vending machines.

  2. Heh...yeah, it's not exactly as if we need to worry about conserving space in most places in the U.S. It's just that with vending machines, you don't need a physical shop or building to sell whatever it is you want to sell. Granted, the selection is limited and inch for inch I'm sure the same amount of merchandise in a shop takes up less space than in a vending machine.

    I agree, though. This is an opening for the machines to gain power.