A new Japanese canned drink vending machine uses facial recognition technology to "recommend" drinks based on the customer's age and gender -- and sales have tripled over those from regular vending machines as a result. The machines, developed by JR East Water Business Co, a subsidiary of railway firm JR East Co, use large touch-panel screens with sensors that allow the machine to determine the characteristics of an approaching customer. "Recommended" labels will then appear on specific drink products. Suggested products may also change depending on the temperature and time of day. "If the customer is a man, the machine is likely to recommend a canned coffee drink, since men tend to prefer these. If the customer is in their 50s, though, that recommendation is likely to be green tea," a company spokeswoman said.