A drinks vending machine which recognises faces has proved a big hit in Japan. The JR East Water Business Company says sales of machine-dispensed beverages have tripled since the launch of its invention.
Sensors in the machine assess the age and gender of users and then recommendations based on these are passed on to the prospective drinks buyers. Time of day and temperature also have a bearing on the recommendations.
“If the customer is a man, the machine is likely to recommend a canned coffee drink, since men tend to prefer these,” said a spokesperson for the company. “If the customer is in their 50s though, that recommendation is likely to be green tea.