Next Generation Glasses Vending Machine touches down at Kansai Airport

Written by: William on September 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm | In LIFESTYLE, PRODUCT INNOVATION | 2 Comments

Jins, one of Japan’s big spectacles sellers, set up the country’s (the world’s?) first vending machine for glasses earlier this year in July.

The first ones were in Tokyo Bay and three other rather lackluster spots, namely Aeon malls in the ‘burbs.

They have since announced they are planning a further fifty locations, including now at Kansai Airport.

jins glasses vending machine japan

It’s not just a pop-in-your-coins kind of vendor either. This is a “next generation vending machine” (okay, these are often trumpeted but perhaps there is more than one generation round the corner?) and has a flashy name, the Jins Self Shop.

It is complete with touch panels and can go online to manage its stock. It even takes credit cards, a rarity in cash-happy Japan.

This is nice, since you see a lot of different kinds of things being sold from machines in Japan (bananas, batteries, canned coffee) but, except for prototypes and the occasional super energy-zapping hi-tech one, most are actually pretty low-fi. The novelty of the purchase is often the selling point.

Glasses in Japan are not your usual kettle of fish.

Jins and its main rival Zoff both run big ad campaigns and target young consumers. Jins uses Yu Aoi while Zoff has the equally lovely Kiko Mizuhara, plus they indulge in fancy augmented reality “digital glasses” projects from time to time too. Both chains also have large stores in Harajuku.

aoi yu jins kiko mizuhara zoff

We’ve always liked how almost all regular spectacles stores will usually have a little cleaning spray machine set up outside, so as you pass by you can give your specs a rinse. Especially useful in the humid summer!

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Category: LIFESTYLE, PRODUCT INNOVATION
Other categories: CULTURE

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  1. What does the vending machine actually do? Does it machine the lens and snap it into the frame or simply vend pre-assembled glasses?

    Comment by Steve Schaefer — January 22, 2013 #

  2. @Steve Schaefer

    It just vends pre-assembled glasses, as far as we are aware. However, having a full robotic optician to check your eyesight, recommend you lens — and then make and sell them to you would be super cool!

    Comment by William — January 23, 2013 #

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