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Motorola Unveils Phone Vending Machines

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the busy-buzz dept.

125

DaveWick79 writes "The 'Instantmoto' is being installed at 20 malls and airports nationwide and will carry about 30 products including 12 phones and 18 accessories. Included is the popular Razr and you can choose whether or not to purchase with a service plan. Instead of being dropped into a tray, apparently a robotic arm will 'gently deliver' the product to consumers. The only question now is, will we be able to pay for these items using our cell phones?"

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125 comments

can I (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157689)

use the cell phones I want to purchases to purchases the cell phone I am purchasing?

Re:can I (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16157703)

"First Psot!!!1!" Would have been more constructive.

Re:can I (1)

volvolus (944542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157728)

yes. In addition, when the payment is approved you're instantly able to place and receive free calls from yourself on the same cell phone. Freaky!

Re:can I (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16159122)

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Just like iPods (1)

johndierks (784521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157690)

I've seen some of the iPod vending machines with the robotic arms. Seems like this is pretty much the same idea in the same locations.

ipod.. maybe not so bad. (4, Insightful)

adam (1231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157726)

cellphone vending machines just seem like a bad idea to me.. the general public is not very sharp, and need things spelled out for them by an "informed" consultant (aka guy in collared shirt who makes min wage + %).

ipod vending on the other hand.. not nearly so many options, and i could see myself using an ipod vending machine in an airport. generally when i am flying, i am in a rush and trying not to forget things, and inevitably i forget something stupid.. like bringing a book to read, etc. this is why periodical shops exist in airports. if the vending machine had an ipod that included the ability to perform itunes purchase + wireless download enabled, that is a combination i can see being very effective in airports; buy ipod, download $30 worth of itunes music, enjoy flight. of course, it's moot because ipod doesn't do wireless download [yet?].

Preloaded content? (2, Interesting)

Barrellina (922837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157927)

Then how about preloaded content... on the mobile?

In Japan I reckon you could make a bit of a killing by preloading the mobiles with "schoolgirl" content! Some text messages, photos, a bit of video, voice mail, and some music... pretend it was an actual schoolgirls mobile that hasn't been deleted and is being resold - executives are doing it already with sensitive corporate data their smartphones and laptops http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/_Undelet ed_smartphones_reveal_corporate_secrets/0,13006174 4,139268276,00.htm [zdnet.com.au]!

Target audience? (4, Insightful)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158054)

Seriously, I'm not about to go buying 150-450$ of iPod + iTunes music on a spur-of-the-moment thing from a vending machine at an airport. How many people are honestly going to do this?

Re:Target audience? (1, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158172)

How many people are honestly going to do this?

Well, some arabs will need spur-of-the-moment remote triggering devices. It's the whole 72 virgins thing...

Re:Target audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158213)

terrorists and bad guys using stolen credit cards...

Re:Target audience? (3, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158294)

Which brings me to an interesting thought (for which I'm sure my Karma will suffer):

How is the Prez, CIA, NSA or whoever supposed to get FISA warrants for every one of these phones? I mean, if I were a terrorist, I would never make a call from the same phone twice, and never for more than a few minutes per call. Sure, you spend a bit more money, but by the time the Prez gets a FISA warrant, you three or four phones past the one they are listening to.

Just a question I've pondered and would like answered.

Re:Target audience? (2, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158362)

It's quite simple, really. Wipe your ass with the Constitution, throw out 38+ years of precedence, and just monitor every single cash-paid phone sold. (You can't prove it was sold to a citizen, therefore it was de facto sold to a 'terrarist'.) Give Motorola a few bucks per vending machine to install cameras with genuine AT&T direct-to-NSA video feeds, overpay a bunch of Halliburton contractors to watch those video feeds, and put a flag on every foreigner (specifically Arabs, of course, but it's not politically correct to admit it) who buys one.

I don't know how much simpler they could make it.

Really, though, as long as they get a photo of each Arab paying cash for a phone, that's all they really need. The NSA will be monitoring all these phones anyway, so I don't see how much difference it makes. Besides, all the phones will have GPS receivers in them. And as long as they believe they're tracking every Moslem in America, Bush will continue to report that we're safer, (at least for as long as we vote Republican.)

Re:Target audience? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158368)

Ouch. I just reread this and I really should learn to not post while drunk. I'm on the f'cking watch-list for sure, now...

Re:Target audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158654)

It's quite simple, really. Wipe your ass with the Constitution, throw out 38+ years of precedence, and just monitor every single cash-paid phone sold. (You can't prove it was sold to a citizen, therefore it was de facto sold to a 'terrarist'.) Give Motorola a few bucks per vending machine to install cameras with genuine AT&T direct-to-NSA video feeds, overpay a bunch of Halliburton contractors to watch those video feeds, and put a flag on every foreigner (specifically Arabs, of course, but it's not politically correct to admit it) who buys one.

I don't know how much simpler they could make it.

Really, though, as long as they get a photo of each Arab paying cash for a phone, that's all they really need. The NSA will be monitoring all these phones anyway, so I don't see how much difference it makes. Besides, all the phones will have GPS receivers in them. And as long as they believe they're tracking every Moslem in America, Bush will continue to report that we're safer, (at least for as long as we vote Republican.)


I guess that's what you get for asking such a stupid question.

So I guess you have no real answer then. There is no legal way to monitor these phones, so I guess we don't. What's the point in monitoring any phones at all since these are the phones anyone with terror connections will be using? Well, I guess we should give up and surrender to the Muslems now. No point in making more innocents die without a chance for giving into dhimmitude. Has your wife and daughter been fitted for their burkas yet? Your daughter knows that if she fights off a rapist, she can be stoned for attempted murder, right? Make sure you let her know. (Oh, and if she doesn't fight, she's a slut and should be stoned for dishonoring your family and soiling the rapist)

Be sure to tell the airport screeners that your privacy is more important than the lives of all the other passengers before you board a plane.

Re:Target audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16159793)

Hey, troll? Your bridge is calling. Go home.

Re:Target audience? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159335)

Its all already done in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

**Yawn** Nothing new here.

Re:Target audience? (1)

The Cydonian (603441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159412)

Its all already done in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Phone purchases aren't tracked, but phone-line purchases (mostly pre-paid cards) are.

Re:Target audience? (2, Informative)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158308)

roughly the same number of people would do this as the number of people that could expense it to their business trip cost

Re:Target audience? (2, Interesting)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158343)

more than you think.

  • Travellers who want an ipod.
  • Travellers who forgot theirs and are going on a long trip
  • Travellers who decide that it's time to upgrade or want a spare
  • Last minute gifts

The average airline passenger is far above average in income and these and also people on vacation are willing to spend a lot more than they usually would. $150 will often seem like not that much in comparison to the ticket. Also a lot of travelers have to wait a long time in an airport with nothing to do.

An airport is a very secure place to put a machine without worrying about theft.

If these machines could dispense music to those that already had an ipod, they'd get tons of business.

Re:Target audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158925)

If it's between talking to the idiot 16-year old punk at the Verizon counter in the mall and talking to the touch screen on the vending machine, I'm walking up to the vending machine.

Same at the grocery store... either wait at the checkout as the horribly inept cashier tries to find the right button for peruvian guava, or go do it myself at the self checkout station.

Re:Target audience? (2, Interesting)

cookieinc (975574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158937)

What if the cost of the iPod was a deposit, and you could drop your iPod at the 'Returns' counter at the destination airport and recieve 70% of your deposit back? Or if you fall in love with it mid-flight, you could just keep it...

Re:Target audience? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159238)

More importantly, how are you going to put music on the thing? Sure, slashdotters always have their laptops on them, but not everyone is toting their music collection to the mall or airport. I don't often buy candy bars or soda from vending machines that I can't open until I get home, so there's not a whole lot of logic behind an impulse buy of electronics that you can't use immediately.

Re:ipod.. maybe not so bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158222)

cellphone vending machines just seem like a bad idea to me

As a drug dealer, I think the idea is brillant.

Robotic Arms (5, Funny)

HunahpuMonkey (613489) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157794)

I have a hard enough time trying to pull a big old stuffed animal out with those robotic arms much less a tiny tiny phone. At 50 bucks a pop rather than 50 cents, I'm going to waste a lot of money.

Causing Riots? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159187)

If you think people get mad and beat machines because their $0.75 bag of chips got stuck, what do you think the person who just spent $250 on a phone are going to do when it gets stuck? That person is going to beat that machine until they break through the door. Think bats, crowbars, and smashing with vehicles, and then it's "Hey everybody, free cellphones!" (Veiled reference to a line from Police Academy.)

Here's a question. If buying too many pre-paid cellphones from Walmart can get you arrested (terrorism, drugs, etc... guilty only really of hyper-consumerism, imo), will the machine alert police to multiple purchases? Seeing as these will be in airports, if you decide to buy a half dozen as gifts, will you be allowed to board the plane, or get hauled off to get rubber glove probed?

Also, will breaking into one become a federal offence? And finally, because of the high profile of being targetting by thieves either by breaking in or by forcing others to buy phones for them, will these machines come with any type of security camera or remote help? At least then, it might be possible to talk with a service rep when the phone doesn't come out.

FTA: "The products are delivered to consumers by a robotic arm and are run from a central location, similar to the way automated teller machines are operated."

That doesn't really explain much.

Here's a twist on iPods (2, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158325)

Was at the Grammercy Park Hotel in NYC earlier this week. In the room is a JBL iPod dock and a little note saying something like, "this iPod is provided as a courtesy for you during your stay. If you wish to purchase it and the songs we have preloaded, $750 will be added to your bill." The weird part? There wasn't any iPod in the dock! I had to call down to the front desk and say, "Hey! WTF?". They explained that the hotel had just opened and the iPods were not available yet. I'm thinking, "Duh! Then how about removing the little freakin' sign saying you're going to charge me $750 for the missing iPod???

Re:Just like iPods (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159506)

What is the percentage rate of items getting stuck, like in a food vending machine? I would be pretty pissed if I just fed the damn machine $250 only to see it dangle at the end of the arm. Then some dude puts down his $250 and gets 2 ipods for the price of one.

much better (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157702)

Instead of being dropped into a tray, apparently a robotic arm will 'gently deliver' the product to consumers.

That's much better than the prototype I saw, where the robot arm disembowels the customer and spills their entrails all over the linoleum.

Re:much better (3, Funny)

schwaang (667808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157725)

That's much better than the prototype I saw, where the robot arm disembowels the customer and spills their entrails all over the linoleum./blockquote
Whiner. What part of "you have 30 seconds to comply" did he not understand?

That was... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157840)

That's much better than the prototype I saw, where the robot arm disembowels the customer and spills their entrails all over the linoleum.

That was the RIAA/MPAA sanctioned Entertainment Media Dispenser, with Genuine Lawyer Personality, wasn't it?

we swear it was only meant to extract a pound of flesh, the drm was written with our approval by microsoft...

Re:much better (1)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157913)

That's much better than the prototype I saw, where the robot arm disembowels the customer and spills their entrails all over the linoleum.

Dude, I saw that movie [imdb.com]. It sucked.
The sound track rocked, though.

Fast turnaround! (3, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157708)

Just saw this concept in Ultraviolet -- you could buy a phone from a vending machine, and it would be "printed", ready to go. It usually takes much longer for a concept like this to go from scifi to reality!

Can I find the operator 's manual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16157711)

Online, so i can get back $20 for every $5 worth of minutes

Disposable Phones... (2, Interesting)

Abreu (173023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157716)

I remember that some company in the late 90's had a brain-dead business plan to sell "disposable" cellphones in supermarkets and vendor machines. Made out of cheap plastic and designed to be thrown away once the minutes in it were exhausted...

Yeah, probably the people in charge of this "great idea" are not panhandling now, as I thought they would.

Re:Disposable Phones... (4, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158119)

I use "disposable" phones all the time when I travel for pleasure. They're a fantastically useful thing for many purposes, and if they get stolen (NOT an uncommon experience) it isn't like it's a huge loss.

For day-to-day use, yeah, they're a dumb idea. But for certain uses, they're awesome.

The bigger question... (3, Insightful)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157720)

Is if these are being installed in airports, will we be able to take them onto planes in the future?

Re:The bigger question... (4, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157734)

No, you will have to use them up before you board the plane. Because, the phones in a vending machine inside the secure area of an airport could hold explosives, like a battery.

Re:The bigger question...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16157735)

This seems like the smaller question to me.

Have I gone crazy?

what about the cell phone service provider? (1)

gnaa323 (1001568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157740)

Looks like an easy way to get the phone itself. But what about a cell-phone service plan and provider or carrier or whatever they're called (like verizon, att, bellsouth, etc)? Do you get to choose that too? Or are you stuck with one you might not like by default?

Re:what about the cell phone service provider? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157857)

Looks like an easy way to get the phone itself. But what about a cell-phone service plan and provider or carrier or whatever they're called (like verizon, att, bellsouth, etc)? Do you get to choose that too? Or are you stuck with one you might not like by default?

Ah. That would probably be like the Disembowling one mentioned above.

  • Insert Arm Into Machine
  • Insert Leg Into Machine
  • You now have agreed to pay in advance for a standar 2 year service agreement
  • You will receive your arm and leg back at the end of 2 years
  • Have a nice day and thank you for choosing ...

Re:what about the cell phone service provider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158000)

and can buy with or without a service plan for T-Mobile, Verizon and Cingular service

So, yeah. RTFA before bitching.

That is all.

Re:what about the cell phone service provider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158291)

Most likely the default phone comes with some number of free minutes on activation. After that, you can buy a refill card or sign up for a service plan.

And the password is... (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157744)

The default password for this vending machine is... the same as the ATM's: 0012345

Value of phones for sales tax purposes (4, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157757)

It's going to be interesting to see what price they put on the phones without a service plan. I suspect that the phone companies inflate the value of the phones that they discount, leading to inflated sales tax payments in most states in the USA (for those who don't understand this, when you buy a phone with a service plan, because services are not usually subject to sales taxes, the state insists that the vendor collects and pays sales tax based on a nominal full price of the phone, even if the price paid for the phone is discounted, sometimes to zero).

If the price without a plan is less than the price that the phone company would normally quote for the phone, one could argue that less sales taxes are due on a new discounted phone.

Re:Value of phones for sales tax purposes (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158061)

The average phone in the US is sold with at a cost of about $300-$500 per user (most of this came from 3 sources: direct hardware subsidies, sales commisssions, and advertising/signups). You used to be able to see this at Nextel, who broke out hardware charges separate from network revenues and costs. When this was done most phones sold for about $70-120 less than cost. If a non-plan phone were sold at a mark up (normal markup for electronics is 20-35% with special cases being far more and far less the unsubsidized retail price would likely be several times the subsidized price ($99 phone would go to $250-$300).

001234 (1)

holdenholden (961300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157819)

Now all we need is the default password and somebody who can reprogram it. Imagine: you request a Nokia 3120 and it dispenses a Motorola Razr.

Re:001234 (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158163)

I would find the person who did it and kill them with the Razr. I 3 my Nokia. It makes good phone calls, something I've found lacking in most Motorolas I've experienced lately.

a vending machine (2, Insightful)

Xargle (165143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157838)

is news? given that there are already plenty of ipod vending machines etc in similar locations why is this worthy of any sort of attention? now if there was a hack to get free product from them.... then i'd be interested.

Re:a vending machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158342)

Cause now you can easily buy a cell phone or accessories without a service plan?

kmart, truck stops, quickee marts.... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158445)

....walk in, lay down a jackson* and some coins, walk out with a little phone with some minutes on it. Been out for quite awhile now. Granted, not in a vending machine, but a blisterpack. You can buy more minutes but it's a rip if you talk a lot, ten cents a minute. It's designed for people who have borked credit and really need a phone, or to give a cheap one to the kid or grandma so they have something to use for emergencies, or say, for trips where you don't want to chance your expensive phone, like going to the beach, etc. It's a niche product but it works. From what I have seen they are little nokias.

*that's $20 to those who don't follow dead presidents "real value" wallet sized posters closely

New meaning (2, Funny)

vanyel (28049) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157850)

apparently a robotic arm will 'gently deliver' the product to consumers

Let me be the first to say this gives a whole new meaning to "reach out and touch someone"...

Depersonify (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157859)

Yeah- the idea is that you don't have to interact with a person. Any more it seems that many people are more comfortable interacting with machines anyhow.

Where will we end up?

Re:Depersonify (2, Insightful)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157935)

Yeah- the idea is that you don't have to interact with a person. Any more it seems that many people are more comfortable interacting with machines anyhow.


Have you dealth with any of the winners working at the cell phone store? They're almost as bad as Radio Shack associates (or whatever they're called.)

Re:Depersonify (2, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157942)

Yeah- the idea is that you don't have to interact with a person.

Heh -- I suppose they'll buy the phones to interact exclusively with machines.

We now have a generation or two of people who are perfectly content to talk to an inanimate object. This is just the next step -- people who only talk to inanimate objects

Re:Depersonify (1)

tilde_e (943106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157989)

I think it is is easier to program the machines to force you to buy the phone insurance than to train the sleezy sales-persons that go so far as to select the option on the form for you stating that it is "required" even though the form says it is optional and you say you don't want it. Since machines don't work for commission they wont say "trust me, I'll make a note and remove it for you tomorrow."

Re:Depersonify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158107)

Where will we end up? A 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener"

Re:Depersonify (1)

The Man (684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158569)

Yeah- the idea is that you don't have to interact with a person. Any more it seems that many people are more comfortable interacting with machines anyhow.

Here's the thing: interacting with machines is usually more pleasant than interacting with the kinds of people they've replaced. Why? Because the people they're replacing tend to be salespeople, underpaid and commissioned. No one wants to deal with a desperate salesperson who will lie, hassle, and annoy you into buying whatever they're selling. There's no reason that salespeople have to be that way, of course, but their compensation structure pretty much dictates their tactics. When dealing with a machine, there's no help, but there are also no scummy sales tactics - ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies. Wouldn't it be better if used cars were sold by vending machines instead of, well, used-car salesmen? Maybe if the people we'd interact with instead of machines were more pleasant, we wouldn't want to replace them. But that will happen only when they're our neighbours and friends, which is antithetical to the entire way our society is structured. Only in densely-populated cities (where small businesses can be successful and most people do business with a small number of personally-preferred shops) and small BigBox-free towns (where small business is all business and choices are few) does that type of interaction survive. But in most places, the economics of employing salespeople, especially for things people don't understand well like cars and cell plans, makes it impossible to have a pleasant experience as a customer. I'd happily pay more for the product to have a better experience, but the market - consisting mainly of people living way beyond their means - has determined that price trumps all. As long as that remains the case, expect to have a choice between sleazy salespeople and vending machines. I'll take the machines, please.

Wow, the next thing you know... (1)

wwiiol_toofless (991717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157861)

...they'll have automated "vending" machines that serve you bubble gum and refreshing fizzed drinks. The future is now!

What's the point? (1)

pen (7191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157872)

This would be great if it truly was an impulse buy. Put money into vending machine, get phone, start using it; Refill as necessary.

But this is no different than the packaged cell phones they sell at Target and other stores -- you still need to go through the hassle of signing up for a rate plan, etc. The only difference is that now you have to pay for the phone instead of getting it free of charge for signing a contract.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158011)

My guess is that they will find some way of making these phones come with pre-paid cards of some sort. They *will* want to sell phones that are operational as soon as you get them.

en español (1)

burndive (855848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157896)

If these have an interface in Spanish, the things will sell like hotcakes^H^H^H^H^H tomales. Many illegal immigrants don't have credit card accounts.

I'm not trying to insult anyone. It's a good sales strategy.

Soda vending machine (3, Interesting)

dochood1966 (996087) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157926)

I first saw a soda vending machine similar to this in Germany. A little elevator moved up, a robot arm gently pushed the soda onto the elevator, and it brought it down to the door. I chuckled at the ingenuity, but I really started to appreciate it after coming back and using the soda machine at church. It unceremoniously dumps it down the shoot. When you open it, it, well.... SHOOTS!!!

That soda machine ranked up there with the self-cleaning toilet seat for pure engineering coolness! Third runner up was the radar that told you how close to the curb you were. That was the first time I had ever seen that!

Those danged German engineers! They think of EVERYTHING!!!

dochood

Re:Soda vending machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16159391)

Many Coke machines here in Mexico have been doing that for some time, thing with a band goes up, soda gets pushed into the band (like a 1 cm fall) and then the bandmoves down to the level where you grab the soda and dispenses it (it also helps that the product is not dispensed at the bottom but at around 4 feet from the flor whihc is much more comfortable)

Re:Soda vending machine (1)

EotB (964562) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159482)

Yeah, I've seen a few of those around. I think my favourites have been the ice-cream vending machines. They basically have a fridge with a motorised lid that flips itself up, then a big vaccuum cleaner type nozzle that gets lowered down to the ice-cream, turned on, then lifted out while sucked on to the ice-cream. It then gets dropped out a chute.
Its a pretty simple idea really, but sometimes it doesn't work out and your ice-cream either never comes out or just gets dropped somewhere inside the machine.

Re:Soda vending machine (1)

Jardine (398197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16160066)

I really started to appreciate it after coming back and using the soda machine at church.

Your church has a vending machine?

Re:Soda vending machine (1)

denjin (115496) | more than 7 years ago | (#16160223)

The hospital I work at in the US has had these vending machines for quite a while now, so it isn't a German phenomenon. :)

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16157962)

Sounds like a great way to use stolen credit cards...

10 seconds (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#16157994)

does anyone see these lasting longer than 10 seconds before someone breaks into them and just takes everything...

My Role Playing Games are coming to life! (0)

daitengu (172781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158022)

I've been playing table-top RPGs for many years. In a game called Mage, I had a mage who carried around a "palmtop" computer. It did pretty much everything a normal computer did. Today there's PocketPCs that put to shame the desktop computers we had back then.

Our characters were also always in need of a cell phone. We invented a machine, that for $100 (or whatever currency was being used in game), you could go to a "vend-a-phone" and get one of your very own.

I should sue Motorola for stealing my idea :(

the next level? (1, Funny)

not a cylon (1003138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158074)

Any idea when they will having vending machines that dispense vending machines?

Theoretically, you'd only ever need one at a location, for all of time. (Well that...and a lot of floor space.)

Re:the next level? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158154)

"I want to make a vending machine that sells vending machines... It would have to be really f$!*@ing big!"
- Mitch Hedberg

And while we're at it...

"Vending machines are a big part of my life. I like when you reach into the vending machine to grab your candy bar and that flap goes up to block you from reaching up. That's a good invention. Before that, it was hard times for the vending machine owner. 'Hey, which candy bar are you getting?' 'That one...and every one on the bottom row!'"
- Mitch Hedberg

"I like vending machines, because snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at the store oftentimes I will drop it, so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential."
- Mitch Hedberg

Ah, what a great man. RIP.

Re:the next level? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16159325)

according to Mitch Hedberg it'd have to be real f**king big!

Easier or harder? (2, Funny)

SteveXE (641833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158214)

Its hard enough to buy a Cell phone at a store that just sells Cell phones. Will it be easier to buy them from a vending machine? Will I still have to listen to a speech about insurance, or calling plans? Will I get my soul back when the contract expires?!

Get Real (1)

electrogeek_dot_com (1000932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158269)

Who the heck is going to buy a cell phone out of a vending machine? They don't sell enough Razr's through all of their other distribution channels?

A Logical Next Step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158275)

Why not just rent the phone for the specific length of time you need to talk -- like say you put in a quarter or something and you get a couple of minutes, and just add money as needed? Hey, wait, this sounds familiar...

fr0s7 pist? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16158450)

ASSOCIATION OF Da^reen Reed, which

I just read the /. ATM post... (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16158541)

and from TFA: "The products are delivered to consumers by a robotic arm and are run from a central location, similar to the way automated teller machines are operated."

hmmm... nope, I'm not saying anything...

How about travellers? (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159193)

In Europe the standarts are different. I'm not sure but I think that US has GSM-1900 and GSM-800 and some kind of AMPS (D-AMPS or something like that) while in Europe it's GSM-1800 and GSM-900. If someone flies from Europe on a business trip and discovers that their phone won't work, buying a phone that will definetly work at the airport without those shop assistants trying to sell you the most expensivething is a good option.

Re:How about travellers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16159609)

Also TDMA (old cingular/att) CDMA (sprint/verizon) iDEN (nextel) are used in the U.S.

How often do you need one? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159418)

how often do you need a new phone exactly? I've owned 3 in my life. the first lost its screen over time, the second was stolen. I've had the third maybe 3 years now, and see no reason to upgrade it. It makes phone calls. Job done. Foe everything else phones do, I have a home PC. I drive, so I dont need a phone to play games on at the bus stop, and i can't think why people MUST speak to me instantly anyway. most of the time the things left in a drawer anyway.
The thought of getting through so many phone upgrades that I use a vending machine just seems totally alien.

Something feels wrong (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16159687)

..about putting $300 in a vending machine. Do these things have tight security, or can you open them with a minibar key?
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