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Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. said Tuesday that it has developed a vending machine that encourages employees to chat with each other and liven up the workplace.

The vending machine dispenses two free drinks when two employees scan their ID cards on the machine at the same time.

The machine will be promoted to client companies as a way to boost communication among workers, which has decreased due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The vending machine comes with a device that can read employee ID cards. Two employees who scan their cards together can choose which drink to receive within 10 seconds.

The costs for the free drinks for employees will be shouldered by the employers, who can freely choose when to offer free drinks and how many drinks employees can get per day.

At Stationery maker Kokuyo Co., which introduced the vending machine on a trial basis, officials said that it led to opportunities for employees to talk to each other.

Suntory Beverage & Food plans to roll out the service starting in the greater Tokyo area, with a target of setting up the machine in 100 companies next year.

Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd.'s new vending machine dispenses two free drinks when two employees scan their ID cards on the machine at the same time. | KYODO
Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd.’s new vending machine dispenses two free drinks when two employees scan their ID cards on the machine at the same time. | KYODO

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