"You Are Getting VERY Thirsty . . . "

Fri, 23 Apr 1999 16:39:31 EDT

Technology News

Telstra Develops Networked Vending Machine
(04/21/99, 12:21 p.m. ET)
By David Greenfield, Data Communications
Can thirst-quenching be networked? Telstra thinks so. It recently began
testing a combined vending machine and pay phone, both parts of which can
send data on customer traffic to a management system.

Developed in conjunction with the Coca-Cola Company, in Atlanta, the machine
sends data via a regular modem operating at 2.4 to 9.6 kilobits per second or
by a GSM interface. The management system receives the data and calculates
the number of bottles to be delivered to the machine and the number of sales
and calls that have occurred in a given time period.

The machine is aimed at young people, said Vladas Leonas, national technology
manager in the pay-phone and card-services division of Telstra, in Melbourne,

"When kids hang around and use a pay phone, it'll be convenient to buy a
bottle of Coke," he said.


This scares me. Pretty soon we'll all be dreaming in red and white.


("The machine is aimed at young people" - literally, like a hormone-seeking