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acure digital vending machine

‘acure’ digital vending machine, designed by fumie shibata of design studio s for beverage company JR east water business
all press images © nacasa & partners

as installation of the high-tech ‘acure’ vending machines continues throughout tokyo, designboom follows up on the devices,
designed by 99 Japan, industrial designer fumie shibata for japanese beverage company JR east water business.

the digital vending machine features a 47-inch touchscreen display with a camera mounted at its top.
sensory data is interpreted by an internal processor to recognize the sex and estimate the age of an individual
who approaches the device, displaying recommendations based on this data. selecting a product
brings up additional information about it prior to purchase, and after the sale, the screen displays a ‘thank you’ message.

innovative for its use of targeted marketing through the visual analysis, ‘acure’ makes use of its ‘intelligent marketing’ system
even when not in use by a customer, to display advertising imagery appropriate to the time of day, temperature, and season.
for example, the product showcased shown on a cold morning might be a hot coffee,
while on a sunny summer day, a glass of ice water or a soda with lime.

without visitors nearby, the machine displays either advertisements for drinks or a pair of curious eyes

now about six months into the projected installation plan, the company has calculated
that their machines double the number of sales of other vending machines.

a range of demographic data reveals surprising purchasing trends,
such as the fact that the most frequent users of the devices
are men in their 30s, and that a disproportionately large number of juices were sold to men at night,
as compared to other drinks throughout the day. based on their findings,
JR east water has already made changes in the stock of the machines.

the devices are suica-compatible, working with tokyo’s rechargeable metro and debit card

a product being selected
image courtesy of
christopher johnson

one of the great advantages to a digital machine is that it is updatable in realtime.
replacing stock is a precise process, as the machine relays its needs to its central server,
which dispatches deliveries once a day, and any sold out products are not included in the display in the meantime.
because multiple ‘acure’ machines can be centrally controlled, they can be used in emergency situations to provide free beverages.
‘acure’ is also suica-compatible, referring to the ability of metro system riders to use their transit system passes as debit cards.

full view of the first installed device in shinagawa station

detail view of an advertising screen

the first machine was installed in shinagawa station last august, and the company’s plans to install
approximately 500 machines by march 2012 are already underway throughout tokyo.

installing the machine

installing the machine

installing the machine

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