Vending Machines That Guess Your Age and Sex

This targeted marketing technology offers a more personalized experience using a variety of local data.

Over the last six months, Tokyo has seen the installation of a series of high tech vending machines that can recognize the age and sex of individuals who use them. Its advertising display is also affected by the time of day, temperature and the season. The ‘acure’ machines are mounted with a camera that reads the sensory data of individuals which will then be used to target who is using the machine. It is a fully digital machine with a touchscreen interface and a video display.

The machines are reported to have six times as more sales than regular vending machines. They will also able to collect demographic data that can then be used to tailor its product based on what is most or least popular with particular groups and locations. It has the potential to be a constantly updating machine that gets smarter with each transaction.

Recently, the Center For Future Studies released a report that foresees this kind of targeted advertising, or what they call “Gladverts”, becoming much more ubiquitous in the very near future. Besides JR Brewing Company, who commissioned the vending machines, another Japanese company, NEC, has also been using the technology. The report predicts that it could spread to the U.K. in less than a year.

Fumie Shibata

[via Design Boom]

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