updated 01:45 pm EST, Wed December 28, 2011
Asahi plans 10K vending machine hotspots in Japan
Japan is now getting vending machines that act as free Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone within a 160-foot range. Made by Tokyo-based Asahi Soft Drinks, the machines will allow multiple devices to access the web before cutting them off after 30 minutes of use, though users can reconnect again right away. A login will be required, and users will get a home page with information on location-specific attractions, stores, and more.
Asahi, which currently operates 250,000 non-hotspot vending machines in Japan, plans to launch about 1,000 of the new, Wi-Fi-equipped ones in Tokyo, Sendai, Chubu, Kinki, and Fukuoka in 2012. Within five years, the plan is to have 10,000 Wi-Fi machines in operation.
Earlier this year, Pepsi introduced a vending machine concept that would allow users to buy friends a drink by sending a redemption code to their phone right from the machine. [via TechCrunch]