Canteen Vending Services has installed a "cyber-accessory" vending machine on the campus of Columbia University that sells batteries, office supplies, MetroCards, iTunes gift cards and even iPod Shuffle music players.
Only one of the $80 Shuffles has been sold as of mid April, while four were stolen when an employee from Canteen forgot to lock the machine. Nevertheless, another such machine, and perhaps even a third, are being planned for placement at different points on the campus.
"We wanted to introduce something a little more eclectic and exciting in the Cyber Cafè," says Larry Levitas, director of university housing and dining.
Plans are also in the works for other specialty machines, including a credit-card-activated DVD rental unit. In addition, Columbia's Dining Services and Health Services are looking to coordinate on putting vending machines with health products, including condoms, in the residence halls.