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Taiwan launches ID based mask vending machines



TAIWAN - ID based mask vending machines were rolled out in Taipei on Saturday (April 11) to minimize the difficulty of the citizens on purchasing masks due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

The machines allow people to purchase masks via multiple payment options using their NHI cards for ID verification. This system is in collaboration between the city government's technical task force, industry players, and the National Health Insurance Administration.

It will only took 30 seconds to complete the purchase. It is also reliable and can save time for people who are busy especially office workers, cannot easily go to pharmacies to get one, senior citizens, and those persons who are not into technology on cellphone app-based mask rationing system. This is according to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, who personally tried the new service.

Building on its experience introducing smart vending machines on a host of high schools and elementary schools last year, Taipei has drawn on the expertise of Micro-Star International Co. (MSI), a local IT company that designs and provides computer software and services, to develop the mask-vending machines.

MSI incorporated telecommunications, mobile payments, an interactive display, and AIoT technology in designing the machines, the first of their kind in Taiwan, reported Liberty Times. The company believes the invention will help relieve designated mask distributors of their burden while ensuring that personal data are not intruded upon.

During the trial run, there will be three machines installed at the capital’s Xinyi District Health Center before the service is expanded to all of Taipei’s 12 administrative districts, said Ko. More stress testing will be conducted so that the service can be implemented nationwide with the assistance of the central government, he added.


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