On the ground: This machine accepts cash, cards and phones
So it's no secret that many new things appear in Japan first in the cell phone business. They already use some very interesting technologies, and one of them is the ability to pay at a machine by bringing your cell phone near it, and having the money deducted from your virtual wallet. It also makes sense to use the ubiquitous cell phone networks to connect these machines to the Internet.
DoCoMo introduced the FOMA Ubiquitous Module, which is a small device that can be added to anything that has electricity in it, and will connect it to the cell phone network. It's an interesting idea and could bring some of the added convenience of having your vending machine have access to your online wallet faster in other parts of the world. Now I just hope they won't have the idea of connecting online advertisements to everything!