The World’s First Reverse Vending Machine

written by Jack Dashwood in AR General on 30. Jun '11

augmented reality, 
augmented vision, 
green AR, 
mixed reality, 
recyclable planet, 
reverse vending machine, 
unifeye sdk, 
united states mayors conference, 
vending machine 

Last week, Mayors from around the United States gathered for the 79th United States Mayor Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Unlike the last 78 USCM’s, the mayors this year got to experience a device that is the first of its kind: Recyclable Planet‘s Augmented Reality Reverse Vending Machine, powered by metaio’s Unifeye Platform and with the help of German vending firm trautwein sb technik.

Reverse vending machine? Yes! It rewards you for using it, and most importantly, for doing your part to help the environment. The concept is simple, much like redemption machines that already exist around the US where you can redeem recyclables for a small bonus, usually around 0.05 per item, depending on state regulations. This new “Green Machine” is universal- users can be rewarded with prizes and discounts at local retailers, just for recycling. Even better, these impressive devices come equipped with interactive augmented reality. Check out the video below to see how it works:

This is a major step for urban connectivity, commerce, and especially the environment. I’ve traveled through over 85% of the United States, and I can’t tell you how many places I came across where recycling was a foreign concept. I even stopped at cafeteria-style restaurants that sold bottled and canned beverages, only to be met with blank stares when I asked for the nearest recycling bin at the end of my meal. These machines could be a large move to educating people on the value of recycling through reward-based incentives and progressive-minded, interactive technology.

Attention Mayors of major US cities: Recycling just got gamified- let’s play “Save the Planet”.


Jack Dashwood
Jack knew that he was interested in Augmented Reality ever since he learned how to read at age 25. Fast forward and Jack now works at the center of the universe when it comes to AR: the offices of Metaio. How did he wind up here? We don’t know, but we have yet to find a legitimate excuse to get rid of him. In the meantime we let him work on the blog and run the Metaio US PR operations. When not talking and writing about AR technology, he can usually be found augmenting his reality by more traditional means down the local pub.

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  1. plz , can you upload video again???

    1. There you go…

  2. Innovative use of AR, I wonder what other types of kiosks can make similar use of the technology.

  3. Its difficult enough keeping students attention in class and around the campus, do we really need this is our Education Buildings???

    Let Disney World have them and lets concentrate on educating our children

  4. How ironic, the German manufacturer of these machines sell cigarette machines , They now want to advertise in Schools and Sports Stadiums through this USA start up company “Recyclable Planet” ?
    How many of these machines are installed in America, less than 5, and how many years will they last before breaking down? thats why Tomra are the market leaders

    1. Hey Steve, as the technology provider for the AR feature of the vending machines I cannnot comment on the mentioned points. I do not have any insights to the vending machines market nor do have I have knowledge about the strategy of Tomra (did not know the company until now) or Trautwein. But thanks for your reaction anyway, Cheers, Jan.

  5. This cool idea for having your place a vending machine we hope here in Philippines we can have vending machine too. Thanks for sharing this site with us.

    Elite Systems Services

  6. Reverse Vending

    Reverse Vending Corporation.

    We do not supply the machines featured in this article,

    Our New Range of Reverse Vending Machines provide a complete solution for the automated handling and the recycling of used beverage containers.

    Reverse Vending Corporation is the leading distributor and operator of Reverse Vending machines that utilise advanced technology to identify, sort, collect and process used beverage containers.

    We have over 18 years experience in rewarding the recycler with exciting reward schemes

    We are seeking Distributors in the USA

  7. This is pretty cool! I’m wondering though how it could be used in other areas, especially online. With there being several different ways to incorporate augmented reality and eCommerce (good overview: I think this technology could go a long way in cutting down on product returns. Could you imagine how cool it would be to get something online and just return it at a kiosk and get another item shipped back to you immediately? Pretty amazing…

  8. Isaiah Genthner

    A vending machine sale will offer you a clear picture with the wide range of vending machines with which you could start your personal profitable dwelling based business enterprise. There are numerous distributors of vending machines and bulk vending goods that will supply you with all of the info you will need regarding costs of machines along with the bulk merchandise you might want to restock them. When candy and food service vending machines are probably the most prevalent, there are plenty of extra types of vending machines you could use to turn a profit. It truly is only after you attend a vending machine sale that you get the general image of how this business enterprise functions. ;

    Our favorite online site

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