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Google Unveils NFC-Powered App Vending Machines in Tokyo

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Recently in Japan, Google introduced three new machines that will help Android device users get the latest and greatest mobile games onto their phones without opening Google Play. The units are “app vending machines,” powered by NFC. Simply place your device under the display that is built into the vending machine, then watch it do all of the work. 

For now, the vending machine supports free and paid apps, but it also allows iOS/Windows/Other users to get in on the action. If you wish to try the experience out, the machine will dispense a Nexus 4 with the app you wish on, then after you have had some time to try it out, you need to give it back. Quite interesting.

The three machines will be manned by Google employees as they are set to begin taking customers tomorrow morning. Good luck, little app machines.

Via: Engadget

  • Trevor

    So that’s why they’re out of Nexus 4s.

  • Justin

    People stop forgetting that the next android version is Kit Kat when you get that, this move from Google makes complete sense, and personally I love this idea if I’m able to use real money to buy the app rather than my credit card, If so I want one everywehere

  • david

    Wow, Talk about f’n useless!
    Dear Japan~ You have this special little thing on your android devices- it’s called the
    “Play Store” – You should try it.

  • Apparently people aren’t familiar with Japanese culture. They buy beer and sushi from vending machines, are you that surprised they have an NFC app vending machine?

  • Eric

    Could it get any more pointless?

  • motta2003

    Where do I get one of those jump suits!?

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    they needed to use NFC for something

  • Stewie

    I call – Stupid.

    What’s worse, their photographer sucks, who stands so that the flash washes out the pic? Take it at a slight angle to eliminate the glare reflection ….

  • emoney

    much easier and more convenient than staying home and downloading

    • PolarBear


  • Timothy Robinson

    Wait it will dispense a Nexus 4? Ummm won’t dropping a N4 down a slot as you would a can of soda be a little risky with all that glass. I can’t see those phones lasting very long.

  • Wtf

    Hahaha come on guys was this story with writing? Lol

    • Wtf


  • Pierito

    How is this any better than just getting the app on the market?

  • hfoster52

    And this is how Grandma got Angry Birds on her phone….

  • mustbepbs

    This makes even less sense than the soiled panties vending machine.

  • starnovsky

    Same machine could also be built using one sheet of paper with a bunch of QR codes on it…

    • Stewie

      Don’t forget with a nexus 4 hanging by a steel chain for “Testing” ….

  • A vending machine for software…. wtf?

    • PolarBear

      That’s legit.

  • panicswhenubered

    Why not partner with a soft drink manufacturer to actually make this do something useful? Like purchase real products from a vending machine…

    • JoeyL

      There are vending machines that you can use with Google Wallet, unfortunately there are few phones wallet works with.

    • Chris

      because “real life” is a scary place for nerds. they have to keep listening to queen to know the diference between “real life” and “fantasy”

  • Me

    Kudos to the human race for becoming even lazier….

    • trumpet444

      Call me crazy, but I would figure that driving or walking all the way to this useless vending machine for an app instead of simply opening the Play Store on your phone would be the opposite of lazy. Pointless, but definitely not lazy

  • michael bourgoin

    other sites explained it better. All this me-too “journalism” of tech sites is getting out of control. They all post the same thing within minutes of each other….Anyway, according to two of the other sites to run this story, Japan has a big thing for vending machines lately, and this is Google’s attempt at capitalizing on it. I personally dont get it, but this is apparently why these machines exist.

    • a3uge

      The story reads as if these things are completely normal. The initial engadget story is also awful. A little context can go a long way.

    • Welcome to the internet.

    • michael arazan

      Asian girls sell their worn panties and there are vending machines, in public, that men can buy them from, I saw on G4 a couple years ago. They sell almost anything out of Vending machines there

  • I mean no offense, But do they know how to use the Play Store on their phones?

  • wutasi

    This is just a waste of space. It should be the usual food/drink vending machine plus app download ability as an additional feature

    • Chris

      Why? you can access the store on your phone.

  • Zach B.

    Am I missing something?

  • Travillion

    But it will only work on carrier unlocked phones until they make it ISIS compatible….. /s

  • Dan


  • ToddAwesome

    Good idea, totally don’t understand the application of it here though.

  • Michael Hammond

    Now, if they could integrate this in to regular vending machines, that would be cool – no more need to carry cash/change anymore!

    • EC8CH

      Coke machine at my work has a paypass creditcard reader… hence Google Wallet works using NFC payments with my G-Nex.

    • Jérôme Besnard

      Vending machine at Philadelphia outlet have NFC payments.

  • a3uge

    I don’t get it…

    • rfranken

      The building….turns into a person….what’s fun about that?

    • Nomo Tittisan

      I don’t get it either, I think the one with glasses has a bigger rack.

    • PolarBear

      That’s marketing in its weird side… I mean Japan?

      • michael arazan

        So I can use my GWallet with NFC at these vending machines and get an Asian woman out of it? Nice

  • Ian Smith

    gnarly jumpsuits

  • JBartcaps

    This is how Redbox should work

    • 1bad69z28

      I actually agree with that idea :)!!!! But, not this app vending machine waste of effort IMHO.