While Japanese banks have been using the technology for a few years, now Hitachi has introduced a vending machine that eschew coins and credit cards for the veins in your fingers.
Hitachi's proprietary biometric authentication system requires that users first register an account (probably linking their vein pattern to a credit card), but it allows one to purchase, say, a delicious can of green tea or icy cold black coffee by inserting a cautious hand into a machine for a quick scan.
Of course, the system exploits your identity a bit in the process, using age and gender information on file to display an appropriate video ad while you enjoy your refreshment. But hey, if a public Coke machine light-probing your innards doesn't bother you, why should a quick sales pitch? [MSN News via CrunchGear and Getty Images]