Asahi Soft Drinks has introduced a new vending machine that dispenses soft drinks as well as a wireless signal. And the good news, of course, is that this wireless signal is totally free.
Upon initial logon, the wireless vending machine network displays a splash page with ads and info from local surrounding businesses (as well as Asahi).
Asahi believes that this new vending machine will strengthen and expand the vending machine business by drawing customers (within 50 meters). I’m not totally sure this will work, though, since many vending machines are located in areas that are not so hospitable to lazy web browsers, such as busy intersections.
Asahi plans to introduce 1,000 of these machines around Japan in the next year, and expand to 10,000 machines in the next five years. Asahi also operates about 250,000 non-Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines in Japan.