Google Play vending machine

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