Automatic vending or retailing is selling varied types of merchandise as items dispensed by automated machines. This sales method has actually been used since ancient times, when the Greek mathematician, Hero, from Alexandria invented a mechanism that dispensed holy water in Egyptian temples. Later, in England during the mid-1600, small brass machines dispensed tobacco, and in 1822, a publisher in England in collaboration with a bookshop owner, Richard Carlile, created a machine for dispensing controversial newspapers. In 1867, the first completely automated vending machine was built to dispense postage stamps. The earliest coin-operated vending machines were used in London. These vending machines, introduced by Percival Everitt, were placed at post offices and railway stations for buying postcards, writing paper and envelopes.
Then, in 1887, the first servicing company for vending machines was started under the name of the Sweetmeat Automatic Delivery Company. During 1888, vending machines that dispensed gum along with small toy figures began to appear in train stations and other public places in many cities worldwide. Since that time, the vending machine business has grown to include a wide array of products for sale, from food and beverages of all types to incidental convenience store items. Still other vending machines offer sales of lottery tickets, online internet time, books, electronics, life insurance, contraceptives, automobiles and marijuana. However, the most popular types of machines that have developed from the vending machine industry are machines that sell and/or operate video games.
Most Popular Types of Vending Machines in Recent Years
In general, the most popular and most widely distributed vending machine varieties for use internationally during recent years have been the following types:
• Coin-Operated Meal and Beverage Machines. – By the early 1900’s, vending machines offering food, beverages and entire meals were common. Automated restaurants became popular, similar to today’s snack bars in offices and public buildings with rows of vending machines selling myriad varieties of food and drinks. These early automats accepted only small change for payment and became favorite eating venues for everyone from struggling artists to successful business owners and celebrities.
• Cigarette Vending Machines. – An American, William Rowe, invented a cigarette vending machine in 1926. However, after a few years use, these machines lost some popularity in the U.S. and other countries due to their accessibility to underage smokers. Modern cigarette machines are still in use throughout many European countries today.
• Specialty Vending Machines. – Although foods and beverages are still the most common items in vending machine inventories today, a non-ending list of specialty products are also now dispensed by these automated machines. Whether you want or need an iPad, digital camera, pizza, french fries, life insurance, cold remedy, car or marijuana, you can conveniently make your purchase by vending machine. Since these machines are now designed to accept credit card payments, they can offer more higher-priced products for sale.
Today, vending machines are popular throughout the world, and Japan has the highest per capita rate for these machines. Japanese vending machines sell fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, sake, clothing and sushi. Market researchers predict that by 2020, approximately 20 percent of all vending machines globally will be smart machines with programmed memory banks to recall your identity and buying preferences. New vending machines in Sydney, Australia now offer buyers nicely packaged items based on such concepts as “friendship,” “purpose” and “spontaneity.”
• Gaming Vending Solutions. – The vending machine industry also led the way to the development of arcade gaming machines that skyrocketed to amazing levels of popularity and demand. The first coin-operated video game, Computer Space, that was sold for commercial use was designed in 1971 by Bushnell and Ted Dabney and led to the development of countless other video games and ever-busy arcades.
Gameking Australia Pty Ltd. is located in New South Wales and serves locations throughout Australia today. We offer the latest hi-tech, skill testing game machines equipped with large, front-mounted touchscreen displays and maximum up-time for players. We also provide popular Cadbury Chocolate machines with rolling LCD displays to many public buildings and other busy venues countrywide. Gameking also offers a wide array of contemporary vending machines selling foods, beverages and endless choices of sales products, including the latest specialty items.