For those people who still have trouble figuring out which way to slide George into the vending machine, a prototype from Hitachi makes things a little simpler: it identifies caffeine-fiends by reading the pulse in their fingertips.
The futuristic Coke machine identifies the customer using Hitachi's VeinID technology. Thinking about some micromachine taking my pulse through my fingertip doesn't exactly get me geeked to obey my thirst, but I guess it's worth it for sake of convenience. I don't always have a single; I do always have my fingers.
The scan pulls up a customer's account, which is linked to a credit card and a postal address. You can have samples and freebies sent to your doorstep from the machine's display, if the whole finger scanning thing wasn't quite invasive enough. [Japan Trends via Maria Popova]