First-ever foot-operated vending machine appears in Japan during pandemic

You can find a lot of vending machines in Japan, run by all sorts of beverage companies, but one of the most prolific of them all is DyDo, which is easily identified by its white machines with red signature logos.

In recent years, DyDo has become a leader in pushing the boundaries of what a vending machine can do, installing emergency alert systems in their units and setting them up as umbrella rental points. Now, the company is adapting to customers’ needs during the global pandemic by creating a foot-operated vending machine, which means you won’t have to touch any buttons with your fingers when making a purchase.

It’s a simple design but an effective one, and it’s incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is make your selection and use your foot to tap the corresponding number on the three-tiered button panel at the bottom of the machine.

Worried about touching that big, possibly germ-laden plastic panel to retrieve your drink from the machine? DyDo has thought of that too, installing a foot pedal on the right-hand side, which opens the plastic door when pressed, allowing you to reach in without having to touch the panel.

It’s a clever and practical response to the problem of losing sales from people who no longer use vending machines because of the fear of contaminating their hands. And with cashless payment available on machines, there really is no need to touch the machine at all when using the foot-operated system.

However, people in Japan who saw the new machine online had mixed reactions to it, saying:

“I’m so sure I would make a mistake with this system.”

“A new evolution in vending machines!”

“I can see people stomping on this and wrecking it.”

“The birth of a new music game!”

“Now they just need to sterilise the drink with UV light once it’s dropped in the tray.”

“They should work on creating a voice-activated machine instead!”

“There needs to be a way for you to just order what you want on your smartphone and then have the machine drop the drink out for you when you get near it.”

In 2017, rival vending machine maker Acure actually did create a model that could accept smartphone orders, with pickup available via the scanning of a QR code on the unit. However, customers using that system still had to open the flap by hand to receive their beverage.

DyDo says their new foot-operated system is just at the concept stage at the moment, so there’s a good chance they’ll be able to improve on the model’s features if it does become approved for use around the country.

If DyDo is able to push their technology to evolve their vending machines even further, by adding an app for pre-ordering and UV light sterilisation in the bottom tray, they could be well on their way to developing the perfect pandemic machine, especially if it comes stocked with their new pandemic products.

Source: DyDo Japan

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