But recently, there's been a new wave in vending technology, and some of them are cool while others are pretty controversial. All of them have one thing in common: they are all very weird.
|No pudding fo' you!|
But if the machine decides you're an adult, it will immediately dispense the new Temptations Jell-O, which is obviously being marketed to adults. This discriminating machine rolled out in Chicago at the Shedd Aquarium before Christmas, and when my 27 year-old sister gave it a try, it scanned her and refused to give up the sample.
So this machine thinks Asians are children! Yeah, we look young, but damnit, we want our free pudding.
Swap-o-Matic. This thing has me intrigued. It's a vending machine that allows you to swap whatever item you have for something else inside the machine. You enter you email address, and it gives you three credits. And you can earn credits by "donating" things to this machine. To swap, you simply exchange your credits for whatever is being offered in the machine's little windows.
The Swap-o-Matic is currently at the Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, NY. And if you go to the website, you can find out what the machine is offering RIGHT NOW. I just checked the site, and you can choose between a brand new candy cane, a 3 month onesie, condoms, and a spoon. Genius!
Morning After. We've all seen those vending machines that offer ibuprofen, Tylenol, and other over the counter meds. But how about contraception? As if the Morning After Pill wasn't controversial enough! Students at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania can give this vending machine $25, and in return, it will dispense the contraceptive also known as Plan B.
The machine has been available on campus for TWO YEARS now, but has just recently started getting some press. We'll see how this one pans out, as it is illegal to offer this contraceptive to anyone under 17. Everyone at this small school is older than 17, but as soon as one does enroll, I'm curious to see if they will have to remove the machine.
Pot Box. No, it's not Redbox. This machine dispenses pot! Er, medical marijuana. You'll find this vending machine in California (duh). To receive your helpful herb, just slide your prepaid/registered card. And the computer will scan your fingerprint. You choose your cannabis, the amount, and maybe any other accessories you might need.
Incidentally, a standard snack machine offering Doritos, Cheese Puffs, Pizza Combos, and Funyons sits right next to it.