Get ready for smart vending machines that deny you naughty snacks

Get ready for smart vending machines that deny you naughty snacks

[T]he vending machine of the future is here, and it knows who you are.

The Luce X2 Touch TV vending machine, which was debuted to industry professionals in Hertfordshire in October, is claimed to be the first in the world to use facial recognition technology.

The machines are able to identify and greet a user, remember a person’s preferences and even refuse to vend a certain product based on a shopper’s age, medical record, dietary requirements or purchase history.

For example, a school can link the Luce X2 with its database and tell the machine to refuse to sell certain products, such as cigarettes, to underage students.

A gym could program the machine with its membership database not to sell fattening snacks to a person who is on a diet, while a hospital could prevent a user with health conditions such as diabetes buying a sugary product.

The system could also be connected to a retailer’s loyalty points system or linked to the room numbers in a hotel, for example. …

Critics have pointed out some of the downsides of the Luce X2, including its apparent infringements of a consumer’s buying freedoms and the fact that it could display a personal purchasing history in front of other people. Jezebel called the technology “a potential nightmare”because a first date could “immediately see how unsophisticated your palate is”.

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