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Would you like a selfie with that? Kirin fuses vending machines and photo booths in Japan

One of Japan's biggest beverage companies is rolling out a new model of vending machine that takes a picture and sends it through the popular Line messaging app to customers who buy a drink.


Tourists who visit Japan often remark upon the startling amount and variety of vending machines, which sit on practically every street corner. In addition to regular consumables like soft drinks and water, there are also machines that dispense books, umbrellas, underwear, USBs and so much more.

Kirin, one of the country's leading brewers and soft drink companies, has collaborated with Line Corp to develop a selfie-taking vending machine, which it has been rolling out around the country this month. Complete with a large LCD display and camera, and vending machine takes a customer's photo against various backdrops before sending it to their smartphone through the Line messaging app, which is widely used in Japan.

The pictures -- which are technically not selfies but are marketed as such -- are free with each purchase of a drink, with the customer(s) getting three attempts to get their shot just right.

Japan has had a long history with self-photography and even more-so with 'purikura' photo-booths, where groups of friends pose as the booth edits in make-up, smooths out skin and adds accentuation to the eyes. Kirin is looking to fuse a ubiquitous facet of Japanese culture with a machine that's ubiquitous in the country' streets.

Although some may look at the machines as being a gimmick, the beverage maker and distributer has also padded them out with longer standing practical capabilities, like the use of the machine's screen for advertisements or to provide local information like commuting updates, weather reports and emergency alerts.