The Redbox at 34,000 Locations
There are only a few places that one cannot find a Redbox. There are 42,000 of them across America in 34,000 locations and the invasion continues! These boxes are partly responsible for putting Blockbuster out of business. But is truly amazing is they require no humans to get the DVD you select. Everything is in the Redbox. Once you sign up online, you select and pickup at a location they find for you. You go there, swipe your credit card, and the robot gives you the DVD. When you are done, take back to ANY redbox you want and the robot takes it back. Don't return it and you'll be charged again and again.
It all began in 2002 with 11 machines placed around the Washington DC area by McDonalds, which owned them. By 2009, they sold all their interest to Coinstar for $170 million. By 2010, it had passed the one billion mark in DVD rentals beating Netflix and all others. By 2011, 70% of Americans lived within 5-10 minute of a Redbox.
Each Redbox can hold up to 700 discs to choose from but usually each one has 100-200 titles. But Redbox allows you to reserve the movie for later pickup. Of course, there is some human interaction, mainly from stocking the box with new releases that come 28 days after their made available.
Redbox has scored major success because each DVD is rented an average of 15 times at $1.30. The Redbox invasion continues and as of 2013, has passed its 3rd billion in DVD rentals!
The technology in the Redbox is just a precursor of how machines can replace humans. Just look at the self-serve checkout in your local grocery store!
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