Japan is one country where they love their vending machines. You could walk down a street and bump into vending machines to your left and right, essentially leaving you spoilt for choice. Now it seems that they are planning to take things to the next level by allowing the vending machines to recognize its patrons through the use of a QR code.
Patrons of the vending machine can use the cameras on their smartphone to snap a photo of the QR code, allowing themselves to check in and assigning themselves an avatar. Over time you will be able to customize that avatar by accessorizing it with shoes and hats while the machine chats away to you about the weather, and it even remembers your birthdays too.
Badges and various achievements can be unlocked as well, allowing you to compete with your friends and strangers over how many badges you might have earned. A rather interesting and novel concept, although we’re not sure if that concept will take off in any other part of the world.