Japan has vending machines that can talk to you, sell you everything from bags of rice to bouquets of flowers, and recharge your phone. But a new breed of automated seller has smarts, too–these machines can detect your age and gender and offer drink suggestions accordingly.

Run by a company under the JR East railway group, the “next-generation drink machines” are imposing enough, but fortunately they don’t talk to you. They have cameras that use facial-recognition algorithms to match customers’ faces to a database of people types.

When you stand in front of the machine, it takes a second to process your image. It will then recommend some of the roughly 35 drinks displayed on its large touchscreen panel by showing little cartoonish speech bubbles next to them.

via CNET Asia