Technology Corner: Vending Machines

August 22nd, 2005 · 3 Comments
by Booksquare

Ah, the vending machine. For some, they represent the last place on earth to buy stale gum. For others, they’re a big, huge item to abuse while the last candy bar in the universe hangs stuck between freedom and those coiled metal holders. And for some, the hip, the cool, the intelligent, they serve as repositories for useful items one needs in the middle of the night.

For example, if you are in Tokyo, you can step out to buy such things as Pocari Sweat, beer, whiskey (various sizes ranging from small to very large), and batteries (also a wide range of sizes). However, if you find yourself in Paris, you can also buy a novel or two. Feel free to rest easy when you need that last-minute couscous recipe, because vending machine technology is there for you:

Installed in four busy Metro stops and a chic street corner in central Paris, Maxi-Livre’s distributors were designed to bypass the characteristic vending-machine-drop, which can be punishing for books.

“We knew that French bibliophiles would be horrified to see their books falling into a trough like candy or soda,” Chambon said. “So we installed a mechanical arm that grabs the book and delivers it safely.”

File Under: Square Pegs

3 responses so far ↓

  • Brenda Coulter // Aug 23, 2005 at 6:06 am

    I read about that yesterday and was sorely disappointed in you Californians. You people should have thought of that long before the French did.

    May I assume that you will soon introduce 24-hour, drive-up bookstores, at least?

  • Booksquare // Aug 23, 2005 at 7:40 am

    After witnessing the awesome things in Tokyo vending machines, the State of California chose to cede the vending market to others. We are exploring innovative uses of color-coordinated newspaper stand-like things. Progress is slow as the days are too sunny and bright to consider expending effort on things like work.

  • Claudia // Aug 24, 2005 at 10:33 am

    What would people think of next?