Unlike other low-tech bike rental systems where the units are stored outside on racks, the Bikedispenser in The Netherlands is an actual vending machine of sorts that dispenses out a bicycle when money is inserted. These machines were created by Dutch company Springtime, and thanks to the introduction of new technologies like RFID chips, smart cards, etc., it became possible to automatically rent out a bike and then return it after use. Every bike has a hidden Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag, so these could be rented out from one location and returned at another. Continue reading for more.
5. 24-Hour French Baguette Vending Machine
One entrepreneurial baker in France has come up with an idea that might not sit well with locals: selling baguettes in a vending machine. You read that right, Jean-Louis Hecht has took advantage of a summer holiday period, when many of France’s 33,000 boulangers shut up shop, to install Paris’s first 24-hour automated baguette dispenser. Currently, he’s only installed two machines, one next to his baker’s shop in Paris’s 19th arrondissement and a second in the north-eastern town of Hombourg-Haut, close to the German border, where he also has a shop.
4. Crab Vending Machine
There are hosts of vending machines for just about everything a convenience store offers, but in Nanjing, China, a company is experimenting with something a bit more out there: crabs. Yes, this vending machine sells hairy crabs, a local delicacy, and surprisingly enough, each machine sells 200 live crabs daily at $2-$7 USD a pop.
3. Popcorn Vending Machine
Maybe movie theaters should take note of this machine, as it churns out a freshly popped bag of popcorn in a little over a minute. While we don’t have the technical specs on it, this particular machine was spotted at a rest stop in Germany, and costs €2 per box.
2. Twitter-Activated Shirt Vending Machine
Westin Hotels & Resorts wanted to encourage people to run a 5K in New York on June 4th. So, they created a very unique vending machine. Simply put, it can only be activated by sending a tweet: “I want to run with @Westin” with your size and gender as well as a unique code that the machine assigns you. After confirming the tweet, the vending machine would then dispense a package containing new socks, shoes, shirt, shorts and, for women, running bras…all at no cost.
1. Fresh Eggs Vending Machine
In addition to selling bags of rice out of vending machines, you can also find bags of fresh eggs inside vending machines in Japan, right along the side of the road, set up by local farmers. For those who don’t live in Japan and want to try this out, head on over to Glaum Egg Ranch, outside Santa Cruz, and $3 will get you 24 cage-free-chicken eggs.