News Column

Kim Kardashian Makeup, Unmanned Micro Markets: 5 Innovations in Vending Machines

April 26, 2013

At the Las Vegas Sands Expo Center this week, machines reigned supreme.

Vending machines, that is -- and not the standard ones that dispense cookies and sodas. These machines delivered a diverse array of items, from pizza to pasta to makeup.

More than 200 vendors displayed their goods for more than 5,000 visitors at the National Automatic Merchandising Association Vending and Coffee Oneshow, which started Wednesday and ends Friday.

Get a glimpse at some of the most interesting products and machines from an industry that draws $42 billion in U.S. spending every year:

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Pepsico's Interactive Prototype

Step in front of this soda bottle vending machine and a virtual version of yourself -- albeit a fizzy, bubbly version -- pops on screen. The virtual being mimics your movements.

Pepsico's newest machine uses Microsoft's Kinect technology, made famous by the Xbox, and allows customers to do much more than scroll through a list of drinks and order. It even allows customers to play a video game, putting them in a Godzilla-like role. Avoid the bubbled flames and strike as many bottles as possible.

The machine has not been released to the public. Company officials said it is still being tested.

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Fastcorp's Health E Italian Kiosk Cafe

At first glance, this frozen food vending machine seems pretty standard: Make a selection and the door of an ice chest pops open, revealing the food inside. A vacuum arm drops down and sucks up your selection, dropping it into a grab box for you to snag.

What's more unique is the machine's selection of foods. It offers lasagna, pasta and pizza that range in price from $5 to $6.50.

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Khroma Beauty Kardashian makeup vending machine

Forgot your makeup, ladies?

No worries. Your savior has arrived.

A new vending machine made by AVT, Inc., the company that developed the electronics machines at the Cosmopolitan that sell phone chargers and other devices, offers a selection of lipstick, eyeliners, blushes and nail polish.

Not sure which color will look best?

The machine helps with that, too. Its interactive touch screen allows customers to select a product color and see what it looks like on one of the Kardashian sisters: Kourtney, Kim and Khloe.

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Fit Popcorn by Popcorn, Indiana

This healthy snack offers the movie-theater popcorn taste that foodies crave with a fraction of the calories.

The company's thick-buttered line of popcorn has been approved by the American Heart Association as a healthy snack. At 35 calories, with loads of taste, who can go wrong?

The best part: Fit Popcorn is slated to land in vending machines in May.

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SmartHUB by 365 RetailMarkets

Ever use the self-checkout machines at the grocery store? Convenient, right?

Now imagine if you could use that same technology at work.

A new checkout machine intended for the workplace can be combined with what's known as an "unmanned micro market," where workers can grab chips, sandwiches, fruit and other snacks off shelves.

The only difference? There's no cashier.

The machine can be activated with a thumbprint, key fob or market card.

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(c)2013 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)

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Source: Copyright Las Vegas Sun (NV) 2013


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