Feeds

Meanwhile in Japan: Your new best pal is a vending machine

Chirpy mobile rewards game or grim future?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Vid Almost a million vending machines in Japan will be ready to start a personal relationship with shoppers, rewarding regulars with weather checks and even remembering their birthdays.

Punters can check into the machines using a camera-equipped phone to snap a QR code and assign an avatar to that machine. Check in often enough and you can accessorise that avatar with shoes and hats, and your favourite machine will send you chatty updates about the weather and suchlike. Check in on Christmas day and you'll get a special badge denoting you as someone who has no real friends with whom to spend the festive season.

The "Quest for Happiness" QR codes have already been affixed to 400,000 Coca-Cola machines, a number that will more than double by March next year according to the Japanese-speaking Penn-Olson blog.

Adventurers embarking on the quest can get (on-screen) badges for checking into machines around Japan, and checking in every lunchtime gets one a "lunchtime" badge and an expanding waistline.

This is all part of the much-heralded process of "gamification", the idea being that everything can be turned into a game so eventually we'll all just walk though our lives competing endlessly against each other for ephemeral rewards flashed up on our computer screens. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.