America is so lame. When you buy a soft drink from a vending machine here, and all you get is diabetes. In Japan, however, you get the whole augmented reality experience.
A new kiosk by Toppan Printing Co Ltd, being tested in three of Japan's supermarkets now, allows shoppers to look up a QR code (then print it, or have it on their phone's screen), hold it up to the machine and receive a free product sample.
The bigger gimmick, however, is that you can then hold the actual product up to the vending machine and get a bunch of floaty infographics (we know, it's a little late once you've already purchased a product). But if the software was tweaked a bit, something like a can of Coke could become a bubbling mana potion in your hand. And as long as you consumed said drink while looking at yourself on the augmented LCD screen, well, nothing special would happen.