Dropping a few quarters into a vending machine, punching B-14, and watching a bag of chips fall into the bottom bin has meant lunch to generations of office workers. And that’s typically all the thought that most businesspeople give to vending machines — except when the bag of chips doesn’t make it all the way into that bottom bin.
But those standard-issue vending machines are being joined by a new generation of devices that feature biometric payment, touchscreens, digital downloads, wireless communications, solar power, and vastly improved efficiency. These high-tech marvels don’t just work better, they also offer far more than snack foods, dispensing wine, consumer electronics, and even medication.
For a sneak peek at the future of on-the-go purchasing, here are 10 vending machines that are creating new business opportunities around the world.
— Steve Cooper