Google Play vending machine

A new and entirely unnecessary way to buy games for your Android phone

Japan is known for its crazy vending machines, and Google is hoping to cross the line from physical to digital goods in these machines with new Google Play units. In a bit of a curious idea, Google is installing large traditional-looking vending machines that load apps onto your phone via NFC when you place it in a cradle on the machine.

Provided you have an Android phone with NFC and Android 4.0 or above, you can simply put your phone on the machine and select between one of 18 apps (on this particular one shown above) to have installed. Some of the apps are free and others are paid, but the process is the same nonetheless — make your selection on the huge screen and watch the animations send the app to your phone.

At this particular machine showing off the new tech, the vending machine will even dispense a Nexus 4 for you to try out the process with — although naturally there are a couple of Google employees waiting to take it back from you when you're all done.

When it comes to just buying apps, it seems like a several hundred pound vending machine isn't the most efficient way to get the job done, but we're sure the novelty factor alone will have more people trying Google Play in Japan. Now if that machine also dispensed phones, tablets and accessories for sale, maybe we could get on board with the idea.

Source: Engadget


Reader comments

Google bringing NFC-enabled app vending machines to Japan


I know they are mostly insane with some things over there, but this is over the top. If I came across an N4 vending machine it could get ugly

Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone

I want NFC enabled vending machines where I can buy something useful -- like drinks -- using Google Wallet.

I'm all for "work smarter, not harder" but how hard can it be to go to the Google Play Store in your browser and find new stuff?

I think these will promote certain apps thus giving a unique experience. It will maybe offer another method of payment, which will be welcome in 3rd world countries, I hope they do, I would love it then...I'm not old enough to own a credit card : /. There's no such thing as gift vouchers for google play available here as well, physical payment would be a welcome addition.

When I first read the headline, that's what I thought it meant. I was in Japan this last summer, and I knew they had a ton of vending machines.. but they still had WAAY more than I expected. I used them a lot too.. It would have been awesome to be able to pay with NFC through my phone though.. Much better than buying games.

I don't get it. This makes about as much sense as going to a kiosk to buy an ebook. is this supposed to be deliberately stupid? Is this some ironic hipster thing?

You have to live in Japan and understand their extreme fascination with vending machines. Spend a few weeks there and you'll get a glimpse of the culture and how they can literally buy anything. Yes its pointless but it's very Japanese and makes sense there.

Posted via Android Central App

I could maybe understand this if there was some sort of data or Internet-connected wifi shortage; otherwise, this makes no sense to me.

Ok, so this is an interesting idea but I can't help seeing it as completely pointless since you can just go to Google Play and get it right from the device. Why, why, why would anyone use this other than a complete novelty?

In the girl's pocket there is a yellow phone with big lens it reminds me at the new Nokia lumia could it be that or do you think its something else

Posted via Android Central App

The 5c has a black Apple logo in the middle which that phone clearly doesn't have.

Posted via Android Central App

Imagine all the vending machines in the United States were all moved to California. Every single vending machine, moved into the state of California. Then imagine adding 10% more vending machines and also placing them into California.
That is the number of vending machines in Japan, approximately the size of CA.
In Japan, vending machines are usually clustered in groups of 6 or 8 or more, and those clusters are everywhere. Each offers many more choices than what we are used to here (along with coke and juices, 'Sweat' water, hot and iced coffee, soup, for example). So people are accustomed to finding items at vending machines we would consider unusual. My guess is that this was the idea of a Japanese national, and this will achieve a popularity in Japan that just isn't possible (due to cultural preferences and scale) in the U.S..