Finally, American vending machines step out of the stone age

When you picture a vending machine, you probably think of the dubious, dark boxes that eat your quarters and dispense your snack, only to have it get caught at the last second. Well, finally — finally — all that is about to change.

Massachusetts-based Next Generation Vending and Food Service is updating the humble vending machine to include biometric purchasing so that you can tie your fingerprint to a credit card. (Hey, how about letting us use our cellphones to pay?)

The bright touchscreen interface isn't a slouch, either. More than just pretty graphics, they are manipulated much like an image on an iPad and users can slide them around to see nutritional information and more before they buy. The company is rolling out 60 of the units in locations in the northeast, and is interested in testing more technologies using the machines.

The vending machine is something of an oddity in America, now, far less prominent than it is in places such as Japan where you frequently find them on the streets, even. Next Generation Vending and Food Service's machines sound neat, and I could see being more inclined to try out a vending machine if it gave me more feedback and easier ways to pay.

MyFoxNY, via CrunchGear

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