back to article Meanwhile in Japan: Your new best pal is a vending machine

Almost a million vending machines in Japan will be ready to start a personal relationship with shoppers, rewarding regulars with weather checks and even remembering their birthdays. Punters can check into the machines using a camera-equipped phone to snap a QR code and assign an avatar to that machine. Check in often enough …


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  1. Tchou


    A personal relationship with a vending machine?

    Do the conceptors of this hate humanity THAT much??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In a word, yes.

      On a cultural difference note, Japan is pretty solidly stuck in "cute!!!1!" where, say, the USoA is similarly stuck in "MIGHTY MIGHT!!!1!" (what was it that bunch of Aussies called it? "preposterone"). So, try and imagine the same basic thing only drawn with narrow hips, broad shoulders, and GUNS EVERYWHERE. Would that look more familiar? To 'merkins perhaps. What would it take for Europeans to take the bait, perhaps something themed on Ibiza?

      Remember the spice girls? That was pretty hateful in how it deliberately targeted a very specific demographic and how inevitably that demographic's parents got to pony up, even if it was pretty well executed.

      But yes, marketeering is all about making people buy your stuff and come back for more. Whatever it takes. Anything goes. Anything at all. You coming back because of the good service and it gets you something you actually need cq benefit from is a small fraction of the equation.

      1. Goat Jam

        Happy Kirby vs Angry Kirby

        Guess one is angry!

  2. Graham Bartlett

    "Quest for happiness"

    How's about quest 1: Get a few hobbies, get talking to a few like-minded people who share those hobbies, get some RL friends, and STOP BUYING STUPID SHIT...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Having a hobby"

      often enough already impies "buying stupid shit" already, dunnit?

      Or maybe I've been reading too much dork tower lately.

    2. Tchou
      Thumb Up

      @Graham Bartlett

      It might be only me but getting involved in something bigger than your self helps. For some people it is getting better at a sport, a technical field, overcoming challenges, ... You know, get some activity and involvement. The others stuffs follows if you magnetize on a goal.

  3. pctechxp
    Thumb Down

    Only in Japan

    They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel or should that be can in this case.

    Oh dear.

  4. Richard Scratcher


    I'll get my kimono.

  5. IronEagle

    The True Worrying Message

    Watch the video with CC and translation turned on..... 57 seconds has a worrying message indeed

    1. Tom 35

      That reminds me of some of the jokes about translating

      "Coke adds life" a few years back.

      I know enough Japanese to tell you that the translated captions (beta) are just about 100% wrong/useless.

    2. Mediocrates
      Thumb Up

      1:38 is pretty good too.

      1. IronEagle

        "Only used in attack and defence"

        So the truth is that Coke are using this as an opportunity to hide weapons throughout our citys? Perhaps that's who's supplying the ground to air missiles for our olympics!

  6. John G Imrie

    Share and Enjoy

    This message brought to you by The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation

    1. Graham Marsden

      Go stick...

      ... your head in a pig! ;-)

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Your Vending Machine

      Now funner to be with!

  7. heyrick Silver badge


    All the vending machine at work seems capable of doing is swallowing 10 centime coins and telling you nothing was inserted, along with a 50-50 chance of receiving your coffee without its necessary cup...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So advanced ...

      ... it even drinks the coffee for you!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everybody to the streets

    if we start campagining now, we might be able to stop this happening here!!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "A personal relationship with a vending machine"

    Hmmm, didn't some guy get jailtime for doing that? (or was it with a mop / bike - I forget for the moment).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gaming the system of gamification.

    So, all you have to do is take a photo of the QR code on the machine once, bookmark the resulting URL, and then repeatedly refresh it without needing to go near a vending machine ever again?

    Also, if they gamify life, won't it just attract griefers?

  11. sabba

    What next...

    ...a vending machine that injects you with a small shot of Charlie after every purchase: just loving' it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surely you must mean...

      "Once you pop, you can't stop".

  12. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    competing endlessly against each other for ephemeral rewards flashed up on our computer screens

    Want to bet?

  13. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Georgia — Hot or Cold

    At least my vending machine appreciates me and understands my needs and they are a lot cheaper than hostess bars.

    Kawaisou na sarariman - fuyu ni ha hotto kohii ga totemo oishii ne!

    (corrections to my Japanese are in order - it's been a while since I was there...)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    QR code japery.

    A friend of mine has a laser printer that can print onto self-adhesive stickers. If you see a random QR code stuck to a wall or lamppost round where we live, you'd better watch out or you might get a goatse surprise...

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