Vending machines have a long history dating back to 215BC. Greek mathematician Hero created the first vending machine dispensing holy water in exchange for a coin. Now fast forward to 1880 where the more modern style vending machine was created in London dispensing postcards. From there, it didn’t take long for vending machines to pop up in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

A vending machine of tomorrow can be described with just three adjectives: smart, digitally-connected and, with no doubt, sustainable. It will sell or give away just everything, for versatile currency, with manifold purposes. A dispenser will definitely go beyond the “pay-and-get on-the-go” scheme, transcending to an eco-focused, digitally powered installation that would respond to consumer needs just like a human salesperson (or even better) and at the same time revolve around the four pillars of sustainability: environmental responsibility, cultural/knowledge vitality, social good/well-being and economic health. How do vending machines of today dip into the “smart” sustainable future across these four areas?