Asahi Beverages has introduced soda machines that offer free Wi-Fi to anyone within a 50 meter radius. In addition to providing web browsing capabilities, the hosted home page will show geo-specific dining, shopping and tourist information. Users can connect for up to 30 minutes before having to reconnect—which Ashai hopes should be just enough time for them to get thirsty.
This is also a perfect example of how a vending machine can be a delivery vehicle for ereaders to areas were household internet is scarce. A single Wi-Fi enabled vending machine can not only dispense soda it can deliver ereaders and provide access to entire libraries by creating internet oases. Like a communal well, these machines could become gathering spots in small towns and villages where locals meet to discuss and download books. They can be a wonderful way for companies Coca Cola or Pepsi to be able to build their brand through literacy subsidizing what amounts to building libraries across the world.