Vending machines typically dispense foodstuff, such as drinks and snacks, but what about one that dispenses WiFi? Well, technically it does not actually dispense WiFi, but Tokyo-based Asahi Soft Drinks recently took the wraps off a new vending machine that not only dispenses the company’s products, but also emits a WiFi signal within a 50m radius. There is no catch here and users will not have to purchase a drink in order to use the WiFi, although there is a 30 minute limit before the user is cut off although it appears that reconnecting is possible.
We’re not sure to what extent can the WiFi be used for, but so far it seems that it’s mainly used for providing information rather than for surfing Facebook and what not. Upon logging in, users will see location-specific information on the home screen, such as nearby local stores and sightseeing spots which we’re guessing is being aimed at tourists.
Asahi plans to set up 1,000 such vending machines in five different regions of Japan come 2012 – Tokyo, Sendai, Chubu, Kinki, and Fukuoka. After which the company has a grand plan of rolling out a total of 10,000 such units over the next five years. So if you’re going to be in Japan some time next year and you need some help in finding some local stores or want sightseeing tips, you know which vending machines to look out for! [Press release]
[Image credit - Asahi]