You may think you’ve heard and seen it all when it comes to Japan’s vending machines. They dispense panties and hot food, and sometimes they’ll give you a little freebie. But what you still might not know is that these handy beverage-dispensing boxes have been getting quite chatty recently. It’s not uncommon now for your vending machine to attempt to engage you in some chit-chat as you purchase your wares. The one outside my apartment, for example, chats to me each morning about the weather, sometimes in the Kansai dialect, and sometimes even in English. “Vendy” also likes to dispense encouraging soundbites, such as “Do your best again today!” In fact, we’ve become pretty pally.
The talking vending machine technology is apparently customisable, and recent reports have been circulating of a company president who has installed several machines for his coworkers’ use which feature his smiling mugshot and a variety of encouraging dialogue he’s recorded to keep up employee morale!