coca-cola's vencycling vending machine smirks at the camera

Coca-Cola has rolled out a new vending machine in Tianjin, China that incorporates facial recognition technology to smile back at customers. The VenCycling machine as emotive AI LED lights that sit under two "eyes" - one that dispenses beverages, and another that recycles them.

The voice-interactive machine was built to encourage recycling. When a customer disposes of their used can in the machine, they receive credit for products made of recycled plastics.

“We envision a system that allows vending machines to also collect used packaging," said Shell Huang, vice president of research and development at Coca-Cola Asia Pacific. "It will help enhance recycling awareness among consumers and nurture recycling habits.”"

Coca-Cola's World Without Waste vision aims to recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging by 2030. The VenCycling machine is part of this. "With VenCycling, Coca-Cola China has taken a great step by introducing packaging into the value chain of circular economy," said Dr. Peiyuan Guo, co-founder of SynTao, a green finance consultancy.

Coca-Cola plans on collecting and recycling not just the waste of their own products, but also other companies'.