ZoomSystems: Is this a novelty, or a high-tech machine to transform the consumer packaged goods sales model. George Bush Intercontinental Airport has five of the new ZoomSystems robotic stores.  They are essentially stand-alone retail stores where you can purchase a diverse selection of CPG’s through a touch-screen interface. One dispenses goods from the Proactiv Solution line so you can get a clean complexion on the road; another houses more than 25 Motorola gadgets such as cell phones, chargers and handsets so you can stay connected no matter what; the third vends the Apple iPod line, as well as in digital cameras, camcorders, travel power adapters so all your shareumentarian (social network sharing + documentation) needs can be met. “We’re (so) happy with the response we’ve seen from travelers, that we’re looking at increasing by two more machines,” says John DePriest, general manager for HMSHost. “I even caught people taking photos next to the machines.” The industry sales average in airports for traditional concessions is more or less $1000 per square foot but robotic stores average $4000 to $25,000 per square foot.  We have a wall here at Culture Waves that explores Japanese culture and the presenter of the content starts the presentation with, “It all starts with vending machines.”  Japan is very forward thinking when it comes to consumer technology and the rest of the world takes about five to seven years to catch up.  That kind of time frame puts vending machines on the verge of an explosion and the public seems ready.

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