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UCSD Biometric Vending Machine

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the tracking-your-soda-habits dept.

144

dice writes to tell us that grad students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) are creating the first biometric vending machine. The current machine comes equipped with a barcode scanner, a fingerprint reader, and a web cam for facial recognition. One student dubbed it the "most over-designed soda machine in the world." The project, code-named "SodaVision," is the brainchild of associate professor Stefan Savage, but it was the students who really made it come to life. And yes, it runs Linux.

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So, does this mean... (3, Funny)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828139)

...I won't get my $.50 back now when I flip off the soda machine every time it chomps my coins? Or, is the snack machine going to recognize my frustration, and shake the stuck bag of Cheetos loose for me?

People sure have a lot of time on their hands!

Only the Good. (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828212)

> ...I won't get my $.50 back now when I flip off the soda machine every time it chomps my coins? Or, is the snack machine going to recognize my frustration, and shake the stuck bag of Cheetos loose for me?

Never flip off a vending machine. They carry one hell of a grudge.

DISPENSER: You are my nemesis... one day, our paths will cross again, and I - I will destroy you...

RIMMER: And on that day, I will be the Captain of this ship.

(A whole lot of plot spoilers happen)

DISPENSER: Every dog has its day, and today's the day... [ ejects can and knocks Rimmer unconsciousness amidst the flaming corridors of the doomed ship ] ...that I'm the dog.

- Red Dwarf, Only the Good

Re:Only the Good. (2, Funny)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829011)

did someone say BeBop cola?

Re:So, does this mean... (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828217)

More than likely, it will recognise you and put the can of soda through a tortuous journey through the shakers and bangers to make sure you have a nice drink of soda delivered right up your nose when you open it.

Re:So, does this mean... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828293)

Wait until someone pisses on it.

Re:So, does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828468)

Over-designed and too much time on your hands is an understatement. This type of device is more appropriate for an door for gaining entry to an ATM machine or any other high security area. But this device is over-kill for an $.50 can of soda.
Maybe he can mass produce these for the home market.....

Re:So, does this mean... (1)

emptycorp (908368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829314)

I for one welcome our new Biometric Vending Machine Overlords.

afraid to vote.. (4, Funny)

qewl (671495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828146)

Let me be the first to say, I'd be afraid to vote on that thing. Especially libertarian..

Re:afraid to vote.. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828286)

Libertarian (aka closet/hipster republican) is fine; I'd be more afraid to vote democrat or -worse yet- green or socialist. Those are the parties which are more in opposistion to the current regime (ok, not the democrats so much, but the greens and socialists definately are).

Re:afraid to vote.. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828305)

I'd be afraid to vote green or socialist because I'd be shitscared if they won.

Also, this entire thread is ridiculously offtopic.

Re:afraid to vote.. (1, Insightful)

painQuin (626852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828303)

it's a vending machine... not a voting machine ...

Re:afraid to vote.. (2, Informative)

qewl (671495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828317)

Politians come in similar shrink-wrapped, advertisement laden, deceptive packages. It's easy to get them confused.

Re:afraid to vote.. (1)

painQuin (626852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828340)

I just had an image of bush clinging to the little spring as it spins... and then someone shakes the machine.

*sighs* (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828151)

from tfa:

Stick your thumb on the reader so the machine recognizes you as having an account, take out the drink, scan it with the barcode reader, then walk way


Lucky students are notoriously honest.

Re:*sighs* (4, Informative)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828316)

I was a CS grad student at UCSD from 2001-2003. What they had when I was there was something called CafeBob or something like that. It had the barcode scanner. You'd enter your name, scan the item, and it would "deduct" the cost from your account. You could "credit" your account by putting money in a box and then, from the computer, keying in that you deposited X dollars. Very trusting. It was a "co-op" vending machine/system - students would take money from the box to go buy the sodas, snacks, and so on (IIRC).

I guess now they're taking out the part where you entered your ID and password, and replacing it with a biometric scanner. But, if this is in the same CS grad student lounge, the barcode scanner and basic inventory software has been in place for some time now.

Re:*sighs* (2, Informative)

Lux (49200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828476)

They're making Bob less trusting, in part because money had always been slowly leaking away due to theft or negligence in payment.

To correct the grandparent, it seems that you have to authenticate *before* the machine will vend a soda, which agrees with some announcements I noticed on the department mailing lists. (I'm not at UCSD any more, but I still get the e-mail.) I suspect the scanning is just for inventory tracking, not payment. Maybe the maintainers get an e-mail whenever x Mt. Dews get dispensed after the most recent restocking. They probably just didn't want to hack the vending machine any deeper to track per-soda purchasing.

Re:*sighs* (2, Interesting)

d4 (144309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828524)

Actually Chez Bob hasn't been leaking money the past few years; it's actually been slowly accumulating capital. The losses stopped when more effective means were undertaken to prevent unauthorized persons (read: undergraduate students) from entering.

Chez Bob is as trusting as ever, and inventory is still as untracked and unreliable as ever. ;)

Re:*sighs* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828485)

A way to counteract that: If it's discovered someone tried to defraud the machine by not scanning the barcode, it would just charge the account an obnoxiously high fee (say, three dollars, or something).

Just a thought.

Re:*sighs* (1)

d4 (144309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828509)

That two-stage process was required in an earlier version, but now the purchase price is deducted from your account when the can is dispensed.

Fortunately for would-be grifters, however, it's still possible to increase the balance in one's account without depositing money. ;)

Many Mountain Dews... (4, Funny)

demonbug (309515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828155)

were killed to bring us this device.

Seems really pointless when you think of vending machines that sell soft drinks and snacks, but I guess there could be a use for more-secure vending machines for higher-dollar items (like the one selling iPods I saw a month or two back).

Re:Many Mountain Dews... (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828334)

reducing the cost of the iPod to 1 brick.

Re:Many Mountain Dews... (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829209)

Then ban bricks!

Re:Many Mountain Dews... (1)

enrgeeman (867240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829237)

Now, now, you're only letting the machine *borrow* the brick. Wouldn't you take the brick back out, and use it on the next machine?

Medical Use (2, Interesting)

no_pets (881013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828393)

Medical use comes to mind as there are already "vending machines" networked to reduce prescription drug screw ups in hospitals as well as a way account for who took what drugs from inventory and for what patient.

Re:Many Mountain Dews... (1)

Lux (49200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828501)

I don't think this even makes sense for higher-dollar items. All vending machines are designed to ensure that goods are not delivered until payment is provided, and, as a secondary consideration, that after payment is provided, goods are delivered.

Why would anyone care *who* bought the iPod, or what their fingerprint looked like?

This is extremely small niche. The scenario where this is useful is where there is small community of people who make very frequent use of the machine. The biometric identification simply allows them to buy soda quickly once they have an established line of credit with the system. It also lets them buy soda when they lack small bills and/or change.

But obviously, you wouldn't put that in an airport. Maybe company breakrooms.

Re:Many Mountain Dews... (1)

Larus (983617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828520)

Does the lost revenue warrant the massive introduction of the new machines? Supply and demand, y'know...

Hmm.. (5, Funny)

yourOneManArmy (986080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828166)

When I read the summary I thought, "Hey this sounds pretty useless, but maybe I just missed something." Then I read the article, and I'm still thinking, "Hey this sounds pretty useless."

Re:Hmm.. (5, Insightful)

v783650 (948198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828187)

Just because it's impractical doesn't make it useless. I'm sure the engineers behind it learned many valuable lessons. Why all the hate? There's nothing wrong with science for science's sake.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

yourOneManArmy (986080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828209)

The machine is useless. The processes involved in its creation are not. I apologize for my lack of clarity.

Re:Hmm.. (5, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828327)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with science for science's sake. This, however, was engineering for engineering's sake, which is one of the most evil forces in the universe.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828333)

I don't question your first sentence, but the rest of your post scared me. Now, just telling that some thing is useless qualifies as hate-speak, is it what you mean? A giant step for PC-speak, indeed.

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828377)

I agree with you entirely.

I ask myself why/how might that be interpreted as "hate" and the early "differential dx"

  1 - spill over from other "nasty stuff" in the international news being internalized and not adequately digested.
  2 - inadequate air conditioning (climate control)
  3 - **Sensitive** to criticism and identifying with the criticized

I don't believe in explanations,... just excuses...

regards,
gerry

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828661)

On a similar note, I once had an English teacher who held that "Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of a cancer." In a related-and-amusing way, he also considered himself a progressive.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829207)

There's nothing wrong with science for science's sake, or with engineering for engineering's sake. But that doesn't mean that whatever you come up with isn't useless.

In fact, when you pursue something for the sole purpose of learning about it, rather than a concerted effort to achieve a particular goal, what you end up with usually is useless.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829229)

at least the students were kept from spending their time having sex for sex's sake, which is anathema to the pursuit of either engineering or science.

Useful? We think so :-) (5, Informative)

StefanSavage (454543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828439)

Seriously, I suppose usefulness is in the eye of the beholder, but from my rather pragmatic standpoint the machine has one very important use: it allows me to get a coke with very little effort (while differentiating my debts from those of others). There's really nothing more to it that that. I think people are looking for something deep, or new a new product category, or some groundbreaking science... move on... you won't find it here.

This project really had two goals: make it easy to buy soft drinks from our grad student co-op and have fun building a real artifact.

The latter part -- having fun -- is underappreciated. Really, the students had a great time putting the pieces together... they had to design and build an interface board to Vendo's control bus, they had to build a UI (that student was a ST:TNG fan so the interface mimics the screens from the series), they had to interface it to our MySql database that holds user accounts, etc. It was a real esprit de coeur project and one in which everyone had alot of fun. Once it was working, people started adding other components: a 2d bar code scanner (not used for soda, contrary to the article, but for candy and other goods), they added visual recognition (and there is a banana detector in the works to register purchase of bananas), there is a voice synthesizer that can say "Shame" out loud if your cash balance in the co-op goes negative, there is even a student who has been talking about door-to-door delivery using a robot, etc.

I suspect if we had called it a "case mod", people would have had understood the spirit in which it was built.

Re:Useful? We think so :-) (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829319)

(and there is a banana detector in the works to register purchase of bananas)

With the price of bananas lately you need lots of controls to protect them :)

Has the price of bananas trebled in price anywhere else in the world, from last year?

DEW 9000 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828172)

Open the pop bay door now...

Re:DEW 9000 (2, Funny)

Couch Commander (749189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828356)

I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

Well my toaster runs NetBSD! (4, Funny)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828177)

This project is nothing! Linux on a soda machine? I've had NetBSD running on my toaster for years ;)

Re:Well my toaster runs NetBSD! (2)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828292)

It's so secure the toast NEVER pops up!

Re:Well my toaster runs NetBSD! (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828601)

Salvaged with much effort from the charred remains of the toaster's hard drive:

Aug 2 07:22:46 toaster /netbsd: slot0 on fire
Aug 2 07:22:53 toaster /netbsd: panic: out of fire hydrant, call 911

Re:Well my toaster runs NetBSD! (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828298)

You got your toaster to dispense soda? sweet!

Ah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828186)

It might run Linux, but does it run OS/2?

gone! (3, Informative)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828192)

Not only is the article slashdotted, so is their site, http://sodavision.com/ [sodavision.com] . The latter has a few more details.

Re:gone! (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828426)

I was able to get to that site just fine.

Though I find it strains credulity. Am I expected to believe there are soda vending machines out there that vend both Coke and Pepsi products?

/still angry over zero-day reneging on no-price-increase promise in granting campus monopoly to Pepsi and getting 70-cent 16 oz. bottle vending machines exclusively (12 oz. cans were 50 cents), a price point that virtually guaranteed that the machines would run out of nickels, effectively raising the price to 75 cents a bottle.

The most overhacked vending machine... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828204)

Now the black and white hats in the computer science department will now have a new toy to fight over. Whoever gets the most freebies wins!

White Vs. Grey Vs. Black (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828429)

Now the black and white hats in the computer science department will now have a new toy to fight over. Whoever gets the most freebies wins!

No, no. You see, the white hats aren't in it to drink soda. They're there just to test security, so they'll break in, take a picture to prove they did it, write an email to the designers, and get arrested by campus security.

The black hats in the department will break in, but they don't actually want anyone to know that they managed to break in, or how...so they won't take anything or tell anyone.

The grey hats willbreak in drink the sodas because even though it's theft, the soda is grossly overpriced compared to what it cost to produce, and Coke oppresses workers in 3rd world countries. The white hats will get blamed for the missing sodas (which is even better, since they're a bunch of goody-two-shoes.)

Yes, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828224)

..but what distro ?!!?!!!

Facial Recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828225)

So if I dressed up like Osama, post facial recognition will then the soda machine spew out soda in fright or blow-up in my face?

... SCARY ... (3, Interesting)

TCFOO (876339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828271)

sorry but paying by fingerprint is a little to scary for me. it's another way for big brother to watch you.

Re:... SCARY ... (2, Funny)

EllF (205050) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828290)

Big Brother knows if you prefer Pepsi or Coke, and he uses it to rape babies.

Re:... SCARY ... (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828299)

They have a special option if you don't want to use your fingerprints. You can have an 18 digit code (3 groups of 6) imprinted on your forehead or on the back of your right hand.

Re:... SCARY ... (1)

sensei85 (989372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828322)

it's another way for big brother to watch you.

Sure, because there isn't a paper trail for any credit card or check purchase you've ever made. I don't think homeland security's gonna come knocking on your door because you exceeded your pepsi quota for the week, but if this technology is expanded to other things (which it will be), this is a nice convenient way of payment that may actually cut down on fraud. It's harder to steal someone's face and fingerprint than their credit card. (read: harder, not impossible) And if you're buying something you shouldn't be, you're not going to be paying with fingerprint, photo id, credit card, or check. You're going to go to the ATM, insert your credit card/fingerprint/whatever, and then take your nice pile of 20's and score that next eighth of afghani bud.

Re:... SCARY ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828376)

It's harder to steal someone's face and fingerprint than their credit card. (read: harder, not impossible)

And once they get it you can never change it, they'll just be able to keep stealing your identity for ever. Have fun.

And if you're buying something you shouldn't be, you're not going to be paying with fingerprint, photo id, credit card, or check. You're going to go to the ATM, insert your credit card/fingerprint/whatever, and then take your nice pile of 20's and score that next eighth of afghani bud.

They'll use your purchase at the vending machine to track you and thus use it to claim you were within vicinity of a crime.

Re:... SCARY ... (2, Interesting)

GnuTzu (892111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828568)

And what about the thieves who think cutting off a finger might be a neat way to get a soda?!?!? Of course, the designers will say that they will guard against this. But, thieves don't always think things through and might cut something off anyway. Sure, dummy's like that are going to get caught, but my digits won't work a keyboard or play music like they used to. When will I be able to buy insurance for my fingers and eyeballs that is specifically geared to address biometric crimes (as opposed to generic dismemberment insurance)? I don't want to live a poor disabled life because I couldn't afford to sue the inventors of biometric devices.

Re:... SCARY ... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828323)

big brother can watch you regardless of how you buy your soda(or whatever)
thats not the problem, the problem is what happens if your finger prints get compromisd?

Want to be scared even further? (0)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828422)

Paying for stuff via your hand or forehead is rekoned to the Mark of the Beast which damns you to Hell. Revelation 13:16 The beast forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, to have a mark placed onm their right hands or on their foreheads. 13:17 No one could buy or sell unless he had this mark, that is the beast's name or the number that stands for his name.

Now, I must confess that while I know God exists, I do not know the man's name that stands for 666, nor do I think that your God given fingerprint is a mark. I'm just saying that its dangerously close to what may come in the future. Personally I am not an apolocolyptic style theologian. I think people should come to God out of love for him and fellow man. I'm just posting that there is much to be afraid of here.

A better feature for this device (5, Funny)

Durrok (912509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828272)

Hello! Thank you for using soda vision! You have ingested: 250 grams of sugar today, 1,800 grams of sugar this week, and 7,212 grams this month for a grand total of 15.9 lbs! Congratulations, you are a candidate for TYPE A Diabetes!

Re:A better feature for this device (0, Offtopic)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828294)

mod funny!

Re:A better feature for this device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828309)

Sugar does not cause diabetes. So says the American Diabetes Association. People periodically try to make a causal link, but the data never seems to pan out.

imagine... (1, Offtopic)

beens (96257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828289)

a beowulf cluster of these.

Re:imagine... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828308)

I imagine it would be called FIZZ

Re:imagine... (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828405)

Beowulf cluster, a.k.a. "six-pack".

It scales well to 12-pack and a full 24 machine "case".

I've been wondering about this . . . (3, Interesting)

code shady (637051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828302)

They say here that they used a webcam to do the facial recognition.
I haven't RTFA yet so I'm not sure which brand or model they use, but would the average webcam provide a high enough resolution to do effective facial recognition?

Would it be possible to write a simple hack that uses the built in camera on a macbook to do the same kind of thing?

Any facial recognitiion experts out there care to weigh in?

Re:I've been wondering about this . . . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828341)

me and a buddy wrote a program a few years back for facial recognition on a webcam. only thing that screwed it up was chicks with too much make-up.

Re:I've been wondering about this . . . (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15829166)

Any facial recognitiion experts out there care to weigh in?

Better yet, get one of those Mac tablet thigs (iBook?) and have it show the machine a JPEG of someone else's face.

so whats new? (1)

urbieta (212354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828344)

Tom looks like the unemployed american trying to drink a soda payed with food stamps

Omir looks like the higly payed indian engineer that will revolutionize the industry lol

Re:so whats new? (1)

OmidKhalili (992626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828713)

correction: i look like a highly paid PERSIAN engineer that will soon revolutionalize the industry. :-P

Re:so whats new? (1)

tduerig (924907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829070)

I just don't really sleep. Also, I had to test it with and without stubble. -T

Vista Machine (0, Flamebait)

ManoSinistra (983539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828363)

And yes, it runs Linux
What a relief. Could you imagine what would happen if it ran Vista?

Bob: I want a soda.
Machine: **please scan finger**
Bob: :scans finger:
Machine: **processing**
Machine: **still processing**
Machine: **your fingerprint data is about to be send over an un-encrypted network. Continue?**
Irritated Bob: YES!
Machine: **please wait until 2007 for your soda**
Irate Bob: [censored] - Where's that Linux machine . . .

Re:Vista Machine (2, Funny)

brjndr (313083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828506)

Yeah, here's the linux machine

Bob: I want a soda
Machine: ....
Bob: Hello?!? I want a soda!
Machine: ....
Passerby: Dude, there's no decent voice recognition software for this machine yet.
Bob: Fine, I'll just put in money.

*Bob puts in dollar*

Bob: WTF?! It took my dollar, why doesn't it show my credit?
Passerby: There are no drivers for the bill counter yet. Oh, and don't bother with coins either. They haven't released those drivers either.
Bob: Well how the fuck am I supposed to get my soda?
Passerby: Well, write some drivers. Everyone should just write their own. What are you, lazy?

Re:Vista Machine (1)

Bruitist (987735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828532)

Or if it had WGA: "You appear to be using a pirated finger"

This makes no sense (4, Insightful)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828365)

Combining biometrics makes identification less accurate. Using both face recognition and a finger print scan would be less accurate than using either alone. For a source, see John Daugman's webpage [cam.ac.uk] . He is the one who invented the algorithm that modern iris scanners use.

Anyway, methinks some investors are being taken for a ride here.

Re:This makes no sense (0, Troll)

ichin4 (878990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828486)

That is a nice little bit of math on the web page you link to, but you overlook an important aspect. That paper defines "error rate = false positives + false negatives", and shows that layered testing increases the total error rate. But the paper itself points out that layering can decrease one of those terms, and, depending on your application, the bad-ness of each term can be very different. For example, in return for preventing the very bad situation of a thief getting to my money (false positive id), I am willing to accept a lot of inconvenient situations where I have to repeatedly attempt to authenticate myself (false negative id).

Re:This makes no sense (1)

d4 (144309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828490)

Daugman's analysis assumes each biometric test produces a single bit of information: pass or fail. That assumption makes it possible for him to reason in the abstract about combining tests, and moreover, to treat exhaustively the 2 possible ways of doing so (logical and, logical or). Even so, his result has 2 qualifications: "If the two biometric tests differ significantly in their power, and each operates at its own cross-over point, then combining them gives significantly worse performance than relying solely on the stronger biometric."

However, a biometric identification method might just as well yield a confidence measure, and such probabilities could be combined in more complex ways than Boolean values. Furthermore, it might be possible to integrate biometric methods even more tightly to produce a single algorithm operating on the total raw input from various sensors.

P.S. My post is not motivated by the fact I'm a UCSD grad student! ;)

Re:This makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828496)

That webpage is, in my opinion, wrong because it does not weigh the cost of false negatives with false positives. Refusing someone soda (a false negative) is much better than charging the wrong person (a false positive). Two tests can allow you to refuse service to someone who fails *either* test (the AND case I think?), thereby virtually eliminating false positives at the cost of more false negatives.

I don't think there are any serious investors in this soda machine project. The total cost of the machine has probably been less than 500 dollars in materials and 5000 free man-hours. Seems like it wouldn't be a bad ride to me ;)

Re:This makes no sense (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828717)

I read that web page, and it's completely correct, but only under its ridiculously restrictive assumptions about the nature of the tests and how they can be combined.

A standard Bayesian network combining the results of tests which have continuous (rather than boolean) outputs, something which many algorithms for facial recognition, fingerprints, etc, will, on average, give strictly better results than the use of either tests alone - this is not only simple to prove, but the basis of many modern classification systems, for things such as spam detection and data mining.

Of course this all assumes that the system has been properly calibrated, which should be agiven.

Why didn't they try areola recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828385)

Subject line says all...

Re:Why didn't they try areola recognition? (3, Funny)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828843)

umm... the CS dept created it. no test subjects.

Fortunately... (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828411)

> And yes, it runs Linux.

Fortunately they haven't been able to find a driver for the anal probe.

Re:Fortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15828427)

Don't worry, they'll just use finger. :-)

- chris_eineke

Hi there ! I am Sody, the refreshing soda machine! (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828420)

What would you like to drink today ?!

Oh, I see: you're a coca cola man, I see it in your fingerprint !

Or... wait... you like pepsi too, don't you ?!

Wow... I really feel great here ! As a matter of fact, I feel so great that I'll dispense you your drink for free !

Weeeh !

Imagine (0, Redundant)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828421)

a Beowulf cluster of these things....

So now ... (1)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828500)

I have to worry about somebody cutting my head off, and not just my finger ...

I for one... (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828536)

welcome out Linux running soda machine overlords.

Re:I for one... (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828560)

The sad thing is I typed "out" instead of "our" because I was rushing to get the joke in first. Must get a life, must get a life... Can I order it online, maybe with some jolt to go?

Propaganda for Big Brother (1)

IntelitaryMilligence (954944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828665)

great soda machine more secure than diebold as if casino machines weren't enough

Nice GUI... (1)

SoCalEd (842421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828699)

I wonder if:

A) Michael Okuda gets free sodas, and

B) Have the Paramount lawyers seen this yet?

Count down to sending of C&D notices in 3, 2, 1....

not a Nutrimatic dispenser? (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828750)

As long as it doesn't try to give me something that is "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea"...

They lied to us! (1)

Awod (956596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828866)

"And yes, it runs Linux. " It eats the install disk.. you've been warned!

It runs linux??? (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828897)

Ugh, i hate myself for saying it but....
Is it possible to beef up the graffics subsystem and install Vista BETA on it???

Sledge hammer? (0, Offtopic)

irishkev (457679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828926)

I'm starting to really enjoy stories that sum up the situation humanity is facing in very concise ways. Stories that are so jam packed with insanity and evil that one doesn't even know where to begin the analysis. The point, of course, is that analysis is no longer necessary to see where we are headed. The thing is apparent, prima facie.

I wonder how that thing would stand up to a sledge hammer?

Beer dispensor (2, Funny)

texaport (600120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15828927)

No more fake IDs. In Loco Parentis without people. Knows to not dispense on Sundays until the churches have closed.

Talks to Diebold machines on voting days to comply with State laws. Switches you to light beer after the first six.

Cuts you off after a few too many, to keep underage students from cutting off older, sleeping roommates' fingers.

Medical/Hospital uses (1)

Blighten (992637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829113)

I see this design could have some uses with the distribution of medication and supplies [ti.com] in hospitals. It could allow the medical staff greater security to the possibility of someone using their password to steal narcotics, etc.

So you order soda.....Healthcare record documented (1)

siasl (541853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829154)

As a former UC system graduate and in middle age I have some question allowing vending machines to aggregate data on your soft drink habits as a student. Getting health care is becoming a real crap shoot as you grow older. The noose is being drawn tighter and tighter on the data being used to disqualify on the basis of "previous" history. Be carefull what information you allow about your habits to be collected....

Let me see... (1)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829191)

while(1) {
Inserts coins
KERNEL PANIC: (blink blink blink)
Profit!!!
}

Killer Soda Machines (1)

Captin Shmit (861923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829399)

Now they have to take it to the next level... [m5industries.com]

I christen thee...! (2, Insightful)

misterhypno (978442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829421)

And it allows the diet police to KEEP you from GETTING that Pepsi that you so desperately want, too!

This thing has the capability of monitoring WHO is using it, WHAT they are buying, and, with very little hassle on the server end, running a database of "healthy/NOT healthy" purchases and locking a user out who has too many "Not Healthy" buys on his or her record. Given the move towards lack of choice in school lunches - how long will it be before companies and even grogery stores start using this technology to remove even MORE freedom of choice from the American consumer?

Every bright side has a dark one and I have the feeling that I just nailed down where the dark side of THIS force happens to be.

Therefore, I christen this vending machine: "DARTH VENDER!"

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Chicago, IL

LOTS of Useful Stuff Like: (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15829433)

1. One to many fingerprint matching algorithm.
2. One to many facial matching algorithm.
3. Fingerprint sensor driver. (In linux no less)
4. Algorythms to detect fake fingers and faces.
5. Backend storage systems for all of the data

Unless you are working for a company that develops these systems, there's not much information out there.

Immensly useful research in a fun application.
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