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Video Vending Machines Make Debut

11 Mar, 2002 By: Hive News

Why bother with sellthrough at the cash register when self-service is right around the corner?

Virtual Concepts Corp., a multi-media marketing company based in North Hollywood, Calif., hopes suppliers will embrace the latest means of selling DVD: an ‘intelligent' vending machine called the CineMachine to dispense packaged media.

The company is promoting the CineMachine as a video, music and game store that doesn't require employees to run and operate at the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) trade show in Las Vegas this week.

The machine, developed with the help of USA Technologies and Automatic Products International, is the very latest in e-Vending. It has the ability to dispense DVDs, video games and movie soundtracks, as well as play movie trailers, game previews, music and movie soundtracks on a liquid display screen and audio technology via USA Technologies' e-Port.

The machine also offers a new advertising medium -- advertising trailers run on the screen embedded in the system and print and photo advertisements can be posted on the sides and front of the machine.

"Our goal was to target movie theaters and the theater patron," said Virtual Concepts president, Jeffrey Ringer. "Most theaters don't sell anything other than soda and snacks to patrons. We see the CineMachine as an opportunity to catch movie patrons in an impulse buy while they are still excited about the movie they just saw. We can see patrons stopping by the CineMachine to purchase a DVD that features an actor they might just have seen perform, perhaps a CD featuring the soundtrack of the movie, or an associated video game."

The company is already in negotiations with major film studios and theater chains across the nation, including Disney, Universal Studios and Warner Bros., Ringer said. "They love the concept, see great opportunity, and want to be a part of it."

As well as placing the CineMachine in theaters, Virtual Concepts is also targeting locations such as airports, train and bus stations, theme parks, hotels, grocery stores and office buildings.

A key component of the CineMachine is USA Technologies' e-Port, which lets consumers make use a credit card or with cellular telephone to buy.

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