These new Japanese vending machines let you buy things using your face

Forget spare change and IC cards; these next-gen vending machines use facial recognition as payment

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Japan is home to some pretty weird and wonderful vending machines, selling a wide range of items from umbrellas and action figures to chilled face masks and cut fruit. Aside from the quirkier things, these machines are an obvious go-to for hot and cold beverages and quick snacks when you're out and about. If you’re sick of fumbling for coins or your prepaid public transport IC card, these new vending machines in Japan have got you covered – they use facial recognition to let you make your purchase.

Created in collaboration between beverage maker DyDo and tech company NEC, these advanced vending machines require you to first sign up for an account, register your credit card and upload a photo of your face via a dedicated smartphone app. Once you’ve set that up, you just have to scan your face and input a four-digit code to buy items from the machine.

Currently, the machines are on a three-month trial at DyDo and NEC buildings in Japan. If they’re deemed successful, you might spot these new vending machines on a street or at the train station near you. 

More news

Sorry Mario Kart fans, Tokyo’s IRL go-karting is no more

You can now ride a real Thomas the Tank Engine train in Japan

The best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in July

A new Foreign Residents Support Centre has opened in Tokyo

Tokyo’s Art Aquarium is opening its first permanent museum this August

Latest news