Gumball machine becomes NFC app dispenser

Moving to platforms that only deal in digital content doesn’t paint a very bright future for physical purchases. But there must be some way that digital content can be bought other than visiting a website or app store. The NFC Gumball Machine in the video above proves there is.

Typically a gumball machine accepts a coin and in return provides you with a tasty treat to chew on. German design studio Razorfish has taken the gumball machine experience and updated it for digital content distribution. The NFC Gumball Machine still requires a coin be inserted, but the goods you get in return are digital and supplied to your smartphone or tablet via NFC.

The modified machine uses a Galaxy Tab as a display, two Arduino microcontrollers, and an NFC reader embedded in the front to allow delivery of the paid-for digital content. The user simply selects the content they want using the touchscreen (be it an app, movie, ebook, or music track), inserts a coin, turns the handle, and holds their device up to the NFC reader to have the content transferred.

The finished machine is only a prototype, but one that took just two days to construct. It’s meant to show a different way that NFC technology can be used, and it certainly gets you thinking about the possibilities for digital content distribution. we aren’t necessarily limited to a totally digital experience when buying something for our devices.

Does the NFC Gumball Machine have a future? That’s up to Razorfish, but I bet if these started popping up in malls, airports, train stations, and other public areas, they’d get used. to begin with it would be a novelty, but if they offered a great selection of content they’d soon become popular.

More at Emerging Experiences, via The Verge

Gumball machine becomes NFC app dispenser

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