Singapore vending machine sells Ferraris

A futuristic 15-story showroom in Singapore dubbed the “world’s largest luxury car vending machine,” has opened offering customers million-dollar supercars, including Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Porsches.

The facility is built by used car dealer Autobahn Motors (ABM) simulates a “fish-bone” system capable of minimizing wind resistance. About 60 luxury cars are displayed in its illuminated showcase.

Customers on the ground floor choose from a touchscreen display which car they like to view. The car will arrive within one to two minutes thanks to an advanced vehicle retrieval system.

The vending machine format aims to make efficient use of space in land-scarce Singapore as well as standing out from the competition, said ABM General Manager Gary Hong.

Developers have shown interest in using the company’s Automotive Inventory Management System for parking services.

Water vending machine in Mumbai

Commuters demand water vending machines at all stations in Mumbai

With the temperature in Mumbai rising steadily, suburban commuters have demanded that the railways speed up installing water vending machines at suburban stations.

So far Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has installed 15 water vending machines on the stations to cater to 75 lakh suburban commuters. The IRCTC official blamed railway officials for delay as the list of sites to install the vending machines came in late.

“There was delay in receiving the site list from railways, so the installations got postponed. However, 49 water vending machines will be installed on both Central and Western Railway by the end of this month,” said an IRCTC spokesperson.

The railways had announced installation of water vending machines on railway stations to allow commuters to purchase purified water at a much cheaper rate. Besides, it is also environment friendly containers can be reused to fill water, thus reducing plastic waste.

The commuters can buy 300ml of purified water for Re1 and one litre of water for Rs5.

“Availability of filtered water at suburban stations is a necessity. The scheme should be well-maintained by the railways especially in summer,” said Kailash Verma, member of suburban user’s consultative committee (SRUCC), Mumbai.

Currently, the machine es are available only on 11 stations of the Western Railway which includes Borivli, Khar, Lower Parel, Marine Lines, Charni Road, Palghar, Dahanu Road, Mahalaxmi, Elphinstone Road, Matunga and Mahim. On an average water worth Rs11,500 is sold daily at these stations.

Army Supplies Vending Machine

SINGAPORE – Full-time national servicemen (NSFs) who need army supplies can turn to a vending machine which has been on trial since December last year.

The LifestyleMart Express vending machines are located at White Sands Shopping Mall.

They supply items like ziplock bags, batteries, powder, socks, insect repellant, singlets and shorts, Lianhe Zaobao reported.

Lego Vending Machine

Anyone who’s ever fantasized about a personal fast-food vending machine to satisfy cravings at a moment’s notice need look no further — provided they’re really good at building stuff out of Legos. The folks at Astonishing Studios, a YouTube channel dedicated to constructing candy machines and food-makers out of Legos, constructed a machine made entirely of the tiny plastic blocks that churns out Burger King Whoppers, Cokes, and fries.

As Gizmodo notes, the machine is powered by a Lego Mindstorms module hidden in the back, and includes a motorized cash slot which will collect five $1 bills before depositing the food — because Legos are fun and all, but cash is king.

This isn’t the first time the mad scientists at Astonishing Studios have worked their LEGO magic on fast food. They’ve built a number of other machines fueled by greasy drive-thru fare, including a Chicken McNugget dispenser and a McDonald’s french fry machine.

First Aid Vending Machine

14-YEAR-OLD ENTREPRENEUR RAISES $100K TO CREATE FIRST AID VENDING MACHINE

What started as an eighth-grade project could soon turn into a multi-million-dollar company thanks to a 14-year-old entrepreneur from Alabama and his diligent work ethic.

A decade of playing baseball as a first baseman and pitcher inspired Opelika High School freshman Taylor Rosenthal to create a first-aid vending machine.

“No one could find a Band-Aid when someone got hurt,” Rosenthal said.

When the Young Entrepreneurs Academy — a program designed as a class for students interested in learning how to start their own small businesses — asked his class to brainstorm ideas for a company, Rosenthal’s mother and father, who both work in the medical industry as an x-ray technician and sports medicine trainer, respectively, helped him develop his idea for the machine, which they called RecMed.

Rosenthal’s RecMed pitch went on to win first place in his class, which earned him assistance from startup incubator Roundhouse to develop the pitch for a regional competition in Boca Raton, Florida, where he won third place last year, Rosenthal said.

“Have you ever been to an amusement park, and your child falls to the ground and scrapes their knee?” Rosenthal asked in his original pitch. “Then, you had to walk all the way to the front of the park to get a Band-Aid?”

From there, the red, black and white machines, which Rosenthal modeled off his high school’s colors, took off. Rosenthal has earned a total of $100,000 in investments and even turned down a $30 million offer for his idea, he said, but was unable to discuss who offered him the deal due to a nondisclosure agreement.

The vending machine allows consumers to purchase first-aid packages to treat ailments such as cuts, sun burns, bee stings and blisters that run from $5.99 to $15.95 or buy individual supplies like bandages, gauze pads and rubber gloves from $6 to $20.

In January, Rosenthal went on to win second place in the Techstars competition at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He will be featured tomorrow at TechCrunchDisrupt, a startup conference in New York, where he is the youngest person to ever be accepted to the event, he said.

Rosenthal’s mentor at Roundhouse, Kyle Sandler, said he is the youngest entrepreneur at the company, where the average member is in his or her 30s. Rosenthal spends all his free time at Roundhouse, where he even has an office, he said.

“We had to throw him out of Roundhouse on Christmas Eve because he wanted to keep working,” Sandler said, describing Rosenthal as “analytical, professional, determined” and an “exceptional young man.” Rosenthal is even a local celebrity, with the mayor of Opelika declaring Dec. 16 as “Taylor Rosenthal Day.”

The straight-A student says he sees a need for RecMed in any “high-traffic areas where children can get hurt,” such as amusement parks and sports stadiums. So far, Six Flags has ordered 100 machines, which cost $5,500 each, and several more “major” companies are interested, he said.

The first working prototype for RecMed has been created, and Rosenthal said he plans to begin deploying the vending machines in the fall. When asked what his favorite subject in school is, he replied, “That’s a hard one,” but ultimately decided on math.

Rosenthal plans on attending the University of Notre Dame and focusing on either medicine or business. But, he admitted to leaning toward business, following in the footsteps of his father, Terry, who has an MBA and runs a medical office in Opelika.

“It’s been amazing to watch him through this whole process,” Terry Rosenthal said. “A lot of people think maybe it was someone else’s idea. He came up with the idea, and he’s done the work. He’s been involved every step of the way.”

Rosenthal said although it’s “difficult” to balance school, baseball and running a business, all of the hard work is “worth it” in the end.

Pizza vending machines installed in The Cut

The Pizza Vending Machines, outside Costcutter opposite Southwark Station, delivers a hot pizza in under two minutes.

The customer pays £4 and then chooses a preferred recipe by using a keypad. The pizza is then served on a cardboard tray ready for immediate consumption.

The vending machine, which contains both a fridge and an oven, can be stocked with up to 102 pizzas. During its first day of operation the stock was sold out.

The Italian Wonder Pizza is exclusive to Top Vending International which is operating from Bournemouth with plans to provide pizza machines in all major cities.

Office Supplies Vending Machine

Staples Inc. has installed vending machines at Logan International Airport and a handful of college campuses, hoping to learn whether captive consumers in need of emergency office supplies will pay a premium for computer mice, pens, headphones, batteries, or travel-size Monopoly games.

While no one actually used the two red vending machines sitting across from US Airways’s ticket counters in Terminal B one afternoon this week, plenty of passers-by stopped to get a closer look at what was inside. Many of them said they welcomed the convenience, even if it often comes at a higher price.

”I would say that it’s a darn good thing,” said Chris Root of Woods Hole, who passed the Staples machines while on a layover at Logan.

”Most of it looks reasonably priced and it all looks like stuff you could come up short on.”

Louise Sawyer, a Boston nonprofit consultant en route to New York, discovered the machines while wandering Terminal B looking for a candy machine.

”I came over here because I was hungry,” Sawyer said. ”They’ve got me right where they need me. It shows that the company is thinking about business travelers.”

Staples is just one of many retailers now experimenting with so-called nontraditional vending to sell products at higher prices with lower overhead, said Michael Kasavana, a hospitality business professor at Michigan State University, where Staples has two vending machines.

The ability of vending machines to accept credit cards is driving the trend, as is the appeal of being able to reach consumers at times when traditional retail stores aren’t open, he said.

”Cashless payment systems allow you to get a lot more for products,” he said. ”People aren’t going to necessarily have $50 in their pocket, but they’ll use a credit card.”

”We’re trying to bring new brands to the automated retail space. One way to do that is through branded vending machines,” said Joe Preston, Vision’s president.

Staples’s machines look and act just like others where you might buy candy or a bag of chips, with a few added twists — and some familiar glitches. Products — from a $60 SanDisk compact flash memory card, a $45 Targus USB optical scroller mini mouse, or a $3 box of Crayola crayons — are lined up in slots that are identified by a combination of a number and letter.

Slide your cash or swipe your credit card into the appropriate slot on the machine, punch in the location of the item you want, and wait for the metal coils to rotate, dropping your merchandise down behind a door where you can reach in and pick it up.

It’s a pretty simple transaction when it works. A reporter using a credit card was able to buy the optical mouse, a $6 pack of Duracell AAA batteries, and the flash memory card with no problem.

Buying a $25 Cross brand ink pen, though, was a no-go. The machine initially rejected two credit card swipes before finally accepting the card and spitting out the pen. But as it fell, the pen’s box fell apart, with only the empty box top landing behind the pick-up door and the pen itself on a shelf beyond the reporter’s reach.

When told of the glitch, Staples spokeswoman Deborah Hohler said it was the first complaint the company has gotten about its vending machines, which have been in operation for about six months. She noted that a toll-free customer service number is posted on the front of the machines for such problems.

”Obviously, that shouldn’t have happened, but if you call that number, they’ll completely rectify the situation,” she said.

Music Vending machine near you

The U.K. will shortly see the introduction of music downloads away from the PC. Inspired Broadcast Networks and Entertainment UK have teamed up to get songs added to a range of different public vending machines. This will mean that soon in addition to having buttons for a chocolate bar or soft drink, there may also be a music download button or even a separate dedicated kiosk. Pubs, bars, and clubs are also on the list where you can usually find a jukebox of some form (which could be networked for music downloading), and there are plans to allow downloads directly to a mobile phone as well.

The vending machine plans are made possible with the help of BT’s DSL broadband network, meaning the machines can be networked to a central repository and updated when required. Initially music will be downloaded using a memory card, but the ultimate aim is to make the whole process wireless using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Trials are being conducted now, with early interest being shown by lastminute.com, Coca-Cola, Welcome Break, and Woolworths. With the music vending machine market set to boom over the next three years, Inspired is investing £50 million (~US$93 million) to get this arm of its business off the ground.

Twitter Game Vending Machine

D-Backs add Twitter vending machine during select games at Chase Field

If you’re looking to win prizes at the next Diamondback’s game, it’s now as simple as sending a tweet.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have added a Twitter vending machine, sponsored by Manzanita Sol, that will give D-backs fans a chance to win themed prizes by tweeting a specific hashtag.

The vending machine will be set up on the upper concourse of Chase Field on the days the D-backs host La Terraza events.

La Terraza allows fans to enjoy a Latin vibe in the upper right field concourse and includes specialized décor, live music and regional food from local favorites such as El Güero Canelo, said Katie Krause, Diamondbacks spokesperson.

To use the vending machine, all one has to do is walk up to it and tweet with the hashtag # DbacksManSol and wait as the machine generates a code for you to tweet, too. The code is specific for every person, so you can only use the machine with one Twitter handle once per game.

“We don’t want one person to stand in front of the machine and tweet 50 times,” Krause said. “That’s why the machine generates one code per user per game.”

Once you’ve tweeted, the machine will dispense a prize that could be anything from a D-backs koozie to a $20 voucher for food at Chase Field.

“Last weekend was our first weekend using it and people seemed to really enjoy it,” Krause said.

The vending machine, created by Innovative Vending Solutions, will serve to further engage D-backs fans on social media. Halfway through the season, the D-backs surpassed 300,000 followers on Twitter and are now at nearly 325,000.

The @Dbacks account and online presence have grown significantly this season and have included increased video content, as the team released a music video earlier this season set to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” that was viewed more than 500,000 times, according to a team release.

The next series where fans can try out the vending machine will be Sept. 9-11 against the San Francisco Giants.