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Old 06-16-2006, 12:03 PM   #1
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Sony Vending Machines

Soda? Check. Candy bar? Check. MP3 Player? Wha?!

Bob posted recently about the Zoom Shop vendy's. And you've probably heard about or remember McDonald's RedBox DVD dispensers. Well, now Sony's gotten into the game.

Sony is testing the waters by placing high-tech automated vending machines in 3 malls across the United States -- one each in Atlanta, Santa Rosa, and Boulder, CO, and they plan to increase that number to 10 by the end of 2006. The thinking here is that these machines are much cheaper to roll out and maintain than a fully-staffed store in a mall. In fact, they are being referred to as ‘robotic stores’.

The stores will offer 50 different items including PSPs, digital cameras, CD players, games and DVDs. While Japan is already home to gadget vending machines, it’s rare for a high-end consumer electronics brand such as Sony to sell its gizmos and gadgets in this way. However, the company expects the unusual sales tactic to work, due to a combination of well-placed machines and brand recognition.

It will be interesting to see how consumers react. Something tells me this would work better in an airport or a train station than in a mall.

Via AJC (subs req)
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:22 PM   #2
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I'd like vending machines for e-content. But they're going about It the wrong way. If you look at It closely , all players are going SD or USB. Imagine a small machine (the size of the comb selling machine in restrooms) connected via internet to a server, where you can choose whatever book, song, movie or paper you need. Insert your SD or USB and your cash or credit card, wait for the download, and voilà, you're readyfor a long trip. These machines could be small and cost no more than a top of the line laptop and need only cable and power no, moving parts. Whoo'll be the first ?
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:40 PM   #3
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Interesting idea. How do you tell the net what piece of content you want? Through your device or through a mounted interface?
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:41 PM   #4
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That's a nice idea for the content vending machine, and I even think you can make it compatible with all kinds of storage cards and/or interfaces like USB, but I think it's problematic from the timing perspective. (Even if they overcome compatibility issues with the multitude of DRM schemes out there.)

Right now, there aren't enough people using and buying content to expect them to buy from such a machine. By the time people have a big demand for content on the run, it will be commonplace to have internet connectivity in devices, and the vending machines for content won't be needed anymore. Sort of a tight window, therefore, to be late enough to get some demand for content, and early enough to be relevant in the face of over the air delivery methods.
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Old 06-16-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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Ther could be a touch screen like a computer with a link limited to the server. When e-book readers become available (if ever sigh!) papers will follow and there we go !
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #6
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The Downside:

Your selection could get hung up and not drop down.

The upside:

You could be the guy that gets two items drop down.
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