In recent years traditional booksellers have been under increasing threat from the digitisation of books in the form of eBooks and indeed from online bookselling vendors.
Matt Webb, a tech entrepreneur, has come up with a solution to this dilemma – a vending machine that sells books and tweets when a sale is made.
Asked to explain more, Webb said that he is particularly interested in a new technology termed ‘The Internet of Things’ – this technology is about removing the boundaries of the internet being confined to a computer and bringing it more directly into our homes and businesses. By practising this, Webb says, we are making the objects around us come alive and encouraging ourselves to be more social.
The idea for the bookshop vending machine stemmed from a recognition that people still love print publishing but also demand faster access to literature than ever before. The vending machine helps to deal with matters such as stock taking and keeping up with demand – hence the tweeting when a sale is made. He was also keen to keep a human element to the process and as such, the vending machines are filled with books which have been recommended by other readers – another purpose of the Twitter link.
These artificially intelligent bookshops are bridging the gap between digital and paper books and offering on demand services which respond to the current market trends and keep reading a social enterprise. Look out for them in train stations, airports and other public places soon.
The video below, shared by permission of the BBC, explains more about the vending machines and what people think of them.
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