While San Francisco has been busy banning products from vending machines, Pennsylvania (of all places) has been trying to find ways to increase their vending machine offerings.
Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board recently introduced “wine kiosks” in two Harrisburg grocery stores. In order to purchase wine from the machines, customers must swipe their ID, blow into a breathalyzer, and then look into the security camera. A state employee in Harrisburg then remotely verifies that the buyer isn’t drunk and matches the photo ID. If everything checks out, the customer is approved to buy wine.
If the initial test run is successful, there are talks of putting the kiosks in grocery stores all over the state.
Conceptually, this invention both intrigues and disturbs me. Whereas the idea of incorporating technology into the world of fine beverage seems really cool, I fear that something like this will only contribute to the ever growing depersonalization of our society. There is something to be said for human interaction, especially in the food and beverage culture.
I’m curious to hear other people’s opinions on the matter. Is this a positive thing for the industry? Or is it destructive?