Innovations That Matter

In Japan, vending machine dispenses beer and wifi


The Asahi beer vending machines emit a free wifi signal within a 50 meter radius for anyone in range to use.

Just last year we saw vending machines that dispense baguettes and milk products, so one that dispenses beer should come as no surprise. What’s particularly interesting about the Asahi vending machines in Japan, however, is their ability to emit a free wifi signal within a 50 meter radius, that anyone in range can use. The wifi-enabled vending machines are powered by Freemobile, allowing users to log on — whether they have purchased a product from the machine or not — for free for a 30 minute session. Once connected users will see location-specific information on the homepage — such as nearby shops and places of interest — which Asahi hope will play a part in revitalising local areas. As reported by Ubergizmo, Asahi plan to distribute 1,000 of the vending machines across five regions in Japan this year, with a further 10,000 being rolled out over the next five years. As we saw with Green Cross’ pharmaceutical effort last year, vending machines are ideally suited to offer targeted location-based promotions. An idea to try out in your local area? Spotted by: Judy McRae



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