One simply brilliant idea that has the potential to be copied all over the world is one that the people at Asahi thought of. The popular Japanese drinks company has implemented what could be described as a moment of extreme ingenuity. The company has turned their vending machines into WiFi hotspots. The company has started deploying their souped up vending machines and will continue for the next 12 months. Asahi plans to deploy more units over the next few years. The effective distance of the WiFi signals coming from the vending machines is 50 meters. Asahi plans to provide this service for free. The great thing about this scheme is that users wonâ€™t even need to buy something from the vending machine in order to access the WiFi hotspot.
The WiFi signal will be made available for 30 minutes. After this, the signal will automatically cut out. With relatively short effective radius, and the machines usually available outside, Asahi hopes that the people who access the companyâ€™s WiFi hotspot will buy drinks anyway especially during the summer when the weather is hot and humid.
Asahi currently has 250,000 vending machines deployed all over Japan. The company plans to initially deploy 1,000 of their Internet-enabled machines in major areas in the country but by 2017, it hopes to have deployed 10,000 machines by then.