Have you ever tried to use a fake coin in a vending machine? If so, you probably noticed that the machine didn’t work. This is because vending machines have special sensors that can detect fake coins. In this article, we will discuss how these sensors work and how they help to prevent people from using counterfeit coins.
A quick history of vending machines
Vending machines have been around for centuries. The first type of vending machine was invented by Hero of Alexandria in the first century AD. His machine dispensed holy water in exchange for a coin. Vending machines began to be used extensively in the United States in the late nineteenth century. At that time, they were mainly used to dispense candy and gum. Today, vending machines can be found in a variety of locations, and they sell everything from snacks to drinks to tickets.
In 1893, the chocolate company Stollwerck became one of the first companies to install vending machines in public places. These machines were very popular with customers. They dispensed small pieces of chocolate in exchange for a coin. However, these machines had a risk. People would try to put fake coins into the machine in order to get free chocolate. Of course, nowadays, vending machines technology helps prevent fraud like that.
How can modern vending machines prevent fraud and detect fake coins?
Vending machines use a combination of light sensors and electromagnets to detect fake coins. The light sensors measure the size of the coin, while the electromagnets detect the metal type. This information is then sent to a computer, which compares it to a database of real coins. If the coin is not in the database, it is automatically rejected.
This system is very accurate, and it helps to ensure that vending machines accept only real coins. It also helps to prevent people from using counterfeit coins, which can often be of lower quality and value. Thanks to these sensors, we can be sure that our vending machines are always working properly.
With the rise of digital payments and the modernization of vending machines to include contactless payments via credit cards and smartphones, the importance of detecting fake coins might be on the decline. However, there are still many regions in which these regular vending machines for cash are still widespread, and therefore the relevance of preventing fraud is still essential.
YouTube: How Do Vending Machines Detect Fake Coins? (Science Channel)
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Minerva Studio. The photo inside the article has been done by Volker Wendeler.