Are you craving the latest Motorola Inc. cell phone or accessory? No worries, thanks to a new initiative by the company's automated retailing group, the objects of your desire will be available in a mall and airport near you.
At the touch of a screen and the swipe of a credit card, shoppers will be able to buy mid- to high-end models, with or without a service plan for Tt-Mobile, Verizon and Cingular. New service customers will need to log online and sign up with a carrier.
Current Verizon customers who buy a phone from the machine will need to call their carrier to swtich service. T-Mobile and Cingular let customers transfer their service plan and phone number manually by removing a data card from the old device and installing it into the new phone.
The vending-machine line Instantmoto is about three times the size of a typical beverage-vending machine. It delivers products to consumers by a robotic arm from a central location, similar to the way an automated teller machine is operated. One of the machines installed in downtown Chicago as part of the company's pilot program is already making people talk. Will it make people buy?
Certainly it puts weight behind the company's efforts to raise awareness of the cool factor of pursuing a career in science. Friday Motorola announced its continuing support to the Chicago Science Expedition.
“We want to show the people of Chicago that science is fun, cool and exciting,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. “We’re a company of scientists and inventors. And we’re proud to support these learning experiences that will spark discussions about how science relates to the people and places that connect everyone in our vibrant city.”