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Qr Codes And AR For Vending Machines In Japan


If you have not heard about Augmented Reality (AR), we don’t blame you. Augmented Reality is part and parcel of the growing use of QR Codes. It is basically a term used whereby there is a direct link between the real physical world with an online one aided by computer imagery or live stream videos. The difference is that it is real time. For instance, if you could switch your phone on, scan a QR Code and then be led to a real time video of a house that you are interested to buy, right there and then LIVE stream, would you? How about if you could navigate your way around the house with your phone? Sounds extreme, eh? But this is what AR is.

This only goes towards enhancing your understanding of the house you intend to purchase and helps the decision-making process. The information you have processed via the QR Code or otherwise, can then be stored in your cell phone for future access. The more advanced types of AR includes head-mounted devices and also virtual retinal displays. But for simplicity’s sake, we will stick with QR Codes and mobile phones.

Japan’s Toppan Printing Co Ltd is already on to the next thing which is creating vending machines that combines QR Code and AR. Is it already in use in the tech country? Yes, it is. And considering the fact that a vast number of people already actively use QR Codes, this next step is merely a baby one for the Japanese. Three supermarkets in the country already have these said vending machines.

Here’s how it is said to work. If you want a sample of a product, you need to use a specific QR Code to get it. And when you hold it (the sample product or the actual product) up to the vending machine, you will get some sort of ‘information’ or ‘effect’. As to what the ‘effect’ or ‘information’ is, we will need someone who reads Japanese in order to find out. At this point, we are basing this blog post on what we have heard so far about the use of QR Codes and AR.

But it is really interesting how things are really turning around in Japan. They are so much faster than the rest of the world, aren’t they?

Anyway, here is something that Coke did with AR, to explain how it works. Watch it, it’s really cool!

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