Mobile phones are becoming as indispensable as water, and if you are thirsty for a phone, you can now obtain one from a Vodafone ‘totally automated’ Mobile Phone Vending Machine. The idea is to provide a ‘Quickphone’ for travelers or phone users who know what they want and don’t need the boring patter of a sales person counting out endless features. Addicts like me (my family is certain my cell phone has been permanently grafted on) who find themselves naked and alone after losing one, will benefit too.
Vodafone and Fujitsu won the Partnering in Innovation Award at the annual UK Technology Innovation and Growth Awards for their Quickphone telephone vending machine this year. The kiosk can be installed anywhere as long as there is an available electrical socket. Reports on stock levels and tampering alerts will be monitored via a 3G or GPRS connection.
There are three types of phones available ranging from 30 pounds to 60 pounds ($53.47 to $106.95) as well as simcard-only packs worth 5 pounds ($8.91). Payment can be made by Cash, Chip or PIN.
The first pilot kiosks where installed in two Vodafone stores in UK Manchester in October 2005 and following the success of these… the company plans to expand to other types of locations, such as airports, ferry terminals and shopping centers.