Tag Archives: UI

Physical Products to Virtual Image: Vending machine in Shanghai

I have been to the 1933 Shanghai, the last slaughter house on earth. Although the interior and the exterior of the building were impressive, I was fascinated by a cutting-edge vending machine in this building. Different from typical vending machines, it displays the virtual image of the beverages and snacks on the right side.


I first wondered why the virtual image is redundantly provided given that physical products are clearly displayed. However, I soon realised it has several advantages. First, it shows additional, detailed information about the beverage including its ingredients, effects, side effects, and price. Since most Chinese beverages and snacks were new to me, this additional information helped me choose the right one. Second and more importantly, it recommended me several items by putting eye-catching virtual icons on them, suggesting these beverages and snacks were popular or discounted. Indeed, virtual image can guide our behaviour toward physical products.