Now, with the financial world still on shaky ground, some people perceive a market for kiosks for gold exchange. The New York Times recently highlighted a new line of vending kiosks marketed by TG-Gold-Super-Markt which will allow people to purchase one to ten gram pieces of gold. The first of these new "gold dispensing machines" appeared in Frankfurt this month. The company plans to install more in airports and railroad stations across Germany (its home base), eventually branching out to Switzerland and Austria, according to a Financial Times report. The current model, with the name "Gold to Go" is nothing more than a big gold box, but it does have video surveillance and up-to-date pricing. These may never become as commonplace as your standard ATM (although wouldn't it be interesting if your standard ATM could do a bit more?), but perhaps the design will improve as people become used to purchasing security in little nuggets rather than in crisp bills. The Gold Rush has never been more contemporary -- or dull looking -- as it is today.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
My favorite aspect of this business is the amazing range of uses that are available for kiosks. A few months back I wrote about the tremendous growth in money transfer kiosks for immigrants who want to quickly send money back to relatives in their country of origin. And ATMS are, of course, the Big Daddy of kiosks, now ubiquitous and indispensable to contemporary life worldwide. And, of course, let's not forget betting kiosks, some of which (for example the iSports stand shown below) have memorably been called "ATMs on steroids."