There are so many different vending machine types in the world that it's almost impossible to keep up with what items have or haven't already made their way into one of these machines to be offered to the market.
You might be familiar with common machines that provide chips, soda, candy, clothing, or electronics, but what about those offering dairy items, seafood, gold, or umbrellas? There has even been the introduction of car vending machines too, even though not many people might be using them just yet.
Choose from toys, ice cream, or these days you could even grab yourself a fresh surgical masks. These machine offerings might be more commonly found in an area like Japan than they would anywhere else in the world.
But today, we are seeing those mask machines make their way into other places as well because of the recent demand.
Now, there is a vending machine in New York that is offering masks on the Lower East Side. The machine is owned by the online retailer known as RapidMask2Go and they are reportedly selling the masks at around $4 each right now.
You can choose from packs with 1,3, 5, or 10 masks, and they are taking credit card payments. The mask machines might be busier than usual these days, along with those that have also been offering things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Vending machines are a convenient way to access goods but they aren't as prevalent in some areas as they are in others. Japan is the one region known to have the highest prevalence of vending machines. There are millions of machines.
Masks had already been used in vending machines for some time, but that market is growing and they've slowly made their way into airport machines too now. You can find some PPE items available in Las Vegas airport terminals now. That market has only now seen a surge in demand thanks to the COVID-19 situation.
It might not be long before more machines like this pop up at other airports around the world. China just recently unveiled their very first mask vending machine and there was a long queue of people who were waiting to get their hands on one. Some waiting in line for as long as 2 hours to try and get one.
In Germany, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, Poland and other areas, more face-mask vending machines have been appearing over the past several months.
Some of these machines have been giving out free masks while others have been charging, you can find them increasingly at places like airports and train stations, among other areas.