By Matthew Henry and agencies

USA: Sony Corporation is trialling vending machines for its consumer electronics products in the USA, making Walkman mp3 players, the PlayStation Portable and Cyber-shot digital cameras available to consumers as easily as a can of Coke.

Ten Sony Access ‘automated kiosks’ are being trialled in three locations around the US, stocking products ranging from DVDs and UMD games for the PSP to consumer electronics products and Vaio computer accessories.

Consumers select their product via a 15-inch touchscreen LCD panel mounted on the front of the machine and pay by swiping their credit card through a reader. When payment is made, the product is dispensed and collected on the spot.

The Sony Access kiosks are made and operated by Zoom Systems, which has also recently designed and implemented vending machines for Apple iPods in shopping centres and airports around the US.

A spokesperson for Sony Australia said the company has no plans to introduce Sony Access kiosks in Australia.