As if vending machines that tweet what you eat weren't enough. The latest round of new vending machines will take your picture and use it to sell you whatever is inside.
These vending machines are powered with a PC and have a screen that can display photos and advertisements to those passing by.
It will work like this: If you are in the vicinity of one of these vending machines (currently being tested by Intel and Microsoft), it will take your photo, determine your age or demographic, and slap a fun graphic, like a superimposed wig, on your photo to spice it up and make it fun. Then, it will use that photo to get you to buy something.
For example, if you're a 20-something blonde, the machines will try and sell you a cup of coffee, or a beverage popular among that demographic.
It's scary stuff. I personally don't want my photo taken while I pass by a vending machine. However, the company spearheading this project, Vulture South, assures everybody that the technology won't pose a privacy problem. I think it's only a matter of time before this technology gets abused.
To be fair, the Microsoft and Intel demos Vulture South has witnessed were all about selling stuff, not tracking buyers. Both also pointed out that some interactivity and connectivity help to improve the operational and commercial performance of the otherwise humble vending machine.