A vodka vending machine recently appeared in the Ukraine, but don’t wait for one to appear in your local town or Wegmans. The machine, which began life as a coffee machine and dispensed shots and fruit-juice mixers, wasn’t legal. Since about a third of all vodka in the country is sold illegally, tax inspectors in particular are curious who might have installed the machine. [BBC]
Want a snack? Vending machines that cook various foods for you are existed for years, but outside of a grocery store in Brussels, there is a machine that cuts and cooks French fries for you in only 90 seconds. The fries cook in beef fat and vegetable oil, since Belgium is the land where French fries were invented and anything not cooked in beef fat is a waste of perfectly good potatoes. [More]
Imagine this scene: you’ve locked yourself out of your apartment. You could climb in the window, call up a locksmith for emergency service, or finally put to use all of those hours you spent teaching the cat how to operate a deadbolt. Or you could walk to a nearby kiosk, provide a thumbprint, and receive an exact copy of your key. [More]
Need a new phone or a replacement SIM for an off-contract device? Need it right away? Want to avoid pesky human interaction? In a mall or airport near you, there may already be a Straight Talk vending machine.
Imagine a wonderful, magical world where you could walk up to a soda machine and buy a bottle of malt liquor. That paradise on earth (for the underage) briefly existed in the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Since the booze cost $3, more than at nearby retail outlets, its customer base were all either underage or had exceptionally poor math skills. [More]
It used to be that if a retailer charged a fee or surcharge to use a credit card, that violated their merchant agreement with the credit card companies, and they got in trouble. Those heady days are over, and it’s now cool for merchants to impose surcharge on your purchases with plastic. And so it begins. Here’s one spotted in the wild on a vending machine. [More]
Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use, businesses are clamoring to get a piece of the action, and coming up with some entertaining ways to do it. For example, a pot vending machine already exists for medical use, so why not introduce the same kind of devices for anyone in those states looking to buy some legal bud? One company is working on adapting its vending machines for just that purpose. [More]
Perhaps you just can’t find the right course to follow that trio of Cinnabons paired with a food court coffee and have an extra $500 just burning a hole in your pocket. If you like fish eggs and happen to be at a mall in Southern California, you’ll be in luck: A company there has just introduced a caviar vending machine, where customers can buy a tin of the stuff for anywhere from $12 to $500. [More]
Even though soda cans and bottles now feature large, clear calorie counts, the makers of the biggest brands of fizzy drinks have decided to go ahead and put calorie information on some of their vending machines starting in 2013. [More]
If you’re splitting a pitcher of beer between pals and you’re all imbibing at a decent enough rate, the beer in said pitcher will stay reasonably fresh. But how about a device that lets you buy a pitcher’s worth of beer, but only pours it out when you want more to drink? The folks at the MGM Grand Detroit think it’s a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately, the state of Michigan seems to think it would violate the state’s ban on alcohol vending machines.
I remember an episode of My So-Called Life where Rayanne was trying to get an apple out of a vending machine at school and thinking, “That would be great. Why aren’t there more healthy vending machines? I’d eat an apple with Jordan Catalano.* ” Seems one school district in Dallas also saw that episode and is trying out just such an idea to promote healthy eating among its students.
Traditional vending machines are dying off like snack food dinosaurs after a meteor strike. But in this case, the meteor is just that less people want to buy chips and gum from a machine. Between 2007 and 2010,134,000 vending machines disappeared from locations in the U.S.
Have you ever said to yourself at one in the morning, “I could really use some cupcakes,” but didn’t want to bake them yourself? Well, if you have the ability to get to Beverly Hills, cupcakery Sprinkles now has a pink cupcake kiosk installed outside of their store where you can buy fresh cupcakes, mixes, and even cupcakes for your dog. Of course there are cupcakes for your dog.
Ah, progress. Thanks to advances in vending-machine technology, tiny robotic convenience stores have opened up shop in apartment complexes and on college campuses nationwide. Sure, consumers in Europe and Japan had similar stuff a decade or more ago. But they don’t have the world’s tiniest Kroger, which is about the size of a bus shelter and opened last month on the campus of private Ohio Northern University.
The recession continues to inspire people to do stupid crap to avoid paying money. This week’s case in point, the teen who got stuck in a Coke machine after he tried to get a free can of soda.
A new vending machine just hit the streets of Paris dispensing freshly baked baguettes.