Googles NFC vending machines dispense Android Apps

first_imgTokyo is now home to another unique kind of vending machine. Instead of dispensing physical products, however, this vending machine distributes apps.If you’ve never been to Tokyo before, there are vending machines for just about everything. You can buy alcohol, clothing, music, and more in vending machines all across the city. Google is using this as an opportunity to try something new: by loading a handful of free and paid games into a unique vending machine that requires an NFC connection to complete the transaction. Essentially, you press your phone to the pad on the machine and the app starts installing on your phone. There’s an animation on the giant touch screen on the vending machine that will match the one on your phone to signify that the transaction has taken place and the app is installing on your phone.There are a couple of unanswered questions about how this works, but none of them are particularly important. Google has built NFC vending machines for physical products before to show off their NFC purchase system in Google Wallet, but this doesn’t appear to be using the same system. Google seems to be grabbing your account details from the phone via NFC, allowing the users to make the selection and agree to the transaction from the larger touch screen, and then giving the phone the command to install the app.Alternatively, Google could be using this as a method of testing rapid-fire app gifting. If users had the ability to “beam” purchase codes for apps from one user to another on Google Play, the end result could be very positive. Since most Android phones come with NFC built in now, it would be a function that could not only become popular on the platform but help users see the value in NFC. It could also just be a silly vending machine in the middle of the Shibuya.last_img

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