Google Japan is tapping into Tokyo’s affinity for vending machines with a Google Play version of the unmanned dispensaries. The Google Play machines will use your smartphone’s NFC capability to “vend” Android apps, which for now includes 18 different games. Some are paid and some are free. Just set your phone down on a tray below the screen, use the giant touchscreen to select your game, and voila – the download begins.
If you don’t have Android or an NFC-enabled phone, the machine lets you demo how it works with a Nexus 4, Google’s flagship phone. You have to give it back, of course. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) employees in white jumpsuits will man the machines once the promotion starts.
The three vending machines in the Shibuya area of Tokyo probably aren’t for practical use, so don’t expect a big rollout anytime soon. They’re just a gimmick to show off Google Play and the Nexus 4; it’s obviously more convenient to simply find and download the apps online. But the fun alternative could strike a chord with local Japanese, who put vending machines on nearly every sidewalk in the city.
(Editing by Anh-Minh Do and Steven Millward)