Japanese designer Fumie Shibata created this wonder of the 21st century for Japanese beverage company JR East Water Business (Yes, the word Business is in their corporate name). The vending machine pictured above was installed in the Shinigawa metro station back in August, but the company plans to implement at least 500 of the machines all throughout Tokyo by 2012.
Sporting a 47-inch touch screen, a camera, and what can only be numerous environmental sensors, these smart-vendors absorb sensory data to determine the sex and approximate age of the person approaching it, better equipping it to offer personalized recommendations for a potential user. When not in use, the machine displays advertisements for some of its products based on time of day and current weather- on a brisk morning, it might be advertising a hot cup of coffee, whereas a humid day would see colder, refreshing beverages highlighted.
The aCure is connected to servers at JREWB, which constantly update the inventory availability as well as purchase statistics to improve specific-location product marketing.
Say what you want about surveillance culture- no really. Say anything you want. HAL 9000's are selling coffee to children.