Insert a coin into the vending machine, grab your bottle, sit down and take advantage of the drink as well as get connected to the free Wi-Fi. If you are in Japan, you can do this all day long.
Asahi Soft Drinks has devised a vending machine that not only offers drinks but also free Wi-Fi, if you are within the 50m range from the machine.
You don’t have to pay anything to access Wi-Fi. You don’t even have to buy a drink to enjoy free Wi-Fi. Sit anywhere near the vending machine, use your smartphone, tablet, any Wi-Fi enabled device to connect to the Wi-Fi — it’s that simple!
The vending machine will automatically cut off the Wi-Fi signal after 30 minutes; this is to avoid people sitting forever near the vending machine and wrecking the speed like a true freeloader. Such 30 minute browsing limit can bring in more number of people, ultimately increasing the sales.
Emily has a valid statement on why Japan will embrace the Wi-Fi vending machine. For one, there is “a growing need for Wi-Fi” and such “vending machine hotspots will allow people to get connected in more areas.” Even if the consumers are ready to wholeheartedly accept the notion of free Wi-Fi, these fledgling vending machine will see the light only in 2012, as Asahi plans to install around 1000 of them in eminent areas of Japan.
In the US, Skype offered free Wi-Fi at over 50 airports for a week. A week of free Wi-Fi access, that too only in the airport, doesn’t benefit the major part of the audience who are away from the airport. Perhaps stores like Starbucks and McDonalds should introduce free Wi-Fi for its paying customers.