Your thumbprint might soon be the key to an afternoon candy bar. A Massachusetts based vending machine company is joinng the growing ranks of companies that are field-testing new technologies.
Next Generation Vending and Food Service is experimenting with biometric vending machines that would allow a user to tie a credit card to their thumbprint. Next Generation is currently testing about 60 of the biometric machines in various locations in the northeast.
The days might be numbered where a consumer watches a bag of chips roll through the machine and drop. Next Generation is also testing a machine that includes a 46" touch-screen display that acts similarly to an iPhone display. The user can click on an item, flip the image and even see the nutrional information on the back of the packaging. The machines include internally mounted cameras to monitor what is going on outside of the machine.
There are other innovations that are being tested outside of the United States, including machines that use retinal scans to identify and charge consumers for their purchases.