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ATM gives cash for your unwanted phones

by Steven Williamson on 13 January 2012, 12:15

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Alongside all the shiny new ultrabooks, rows of Smart TVs and insane amount of mobile phones, CES is also rammed full of innovative products and cool gadgets.

One such product that has caught our attention is the ecoATM, which resembles a cash machine, but can actually be used to make money from your unwanted mobile phones.

Via its large “mouth,” you can pop in a mobile phone or MP3 player and then it determines if your phone is in working order before calculating how much it is worth.



Using a technology called Advanced Machine Vision, the ecoATM - via its embedded touchscreen - then tells you what it believes your mobile to be worth. If you choose to accept the quote, it then dispenses the cash and melts down your phone in an “environmentally friendly" way.

The machine is already in use in California, deployed in approximately 50 stores across the US state. ecoATM also plans to roll-out 500 machines by year end.

Seems like a great way for mobile phone muggers to make some very quick cash, doesn’t it?

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HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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Seems like a great way for mobile phone muggers to make some very quick cash, doesn’t it?

Thats exactly what I thought, surely theres got to be some sort of security against this..
'[GSV
Trig;2251489']Thats exactly what I thought, surely theres got to be some sort of security against this..

Yes, there are cameras at every ATM!
shaithis
'[GSV
Trig;2251489']Thats exactly what I thought, surely theres got to be some sort of security against this..

Yes, there are cameras at every ATM!

For every ATM theres a Balaclava im sure

:S stupid idea from the stupid shop.
In shopping mall, find/steal/borrow someone's phone - so quick before the IMEI is blocked dump it in the recycler and grab your cash… whilst wearing a balaclava/hoodie. =Profit for yobs?

I don't see how this is anything other than thieves wet dream?
[GSV
Trig;304]
Seems like a great way for mobile phone muggers to make some very quick cash, doesn’t it?

Thats exactly what I thought, surely theres got to be some sort of security against this..
The video says that the payout only happens after it's scanned a driving license. So unless said scumbag has a stock of these then surely it'd be childs play for ecoATM to limit the number of transactions an identified individual could do. For example, it's unlikely that anyone is going to be trading in more than six mobiles per year. In fact, if I was them I'd be thinking about a limit of about four of each device per annum.

To build on something shaithis said - perhaps the “ATM” could be camera equipped so that it could cross check drivers license against the face of the person operating the machine. Okay, that's not going to stop a victim being forced to use the device, but I'm sure that there's a way around that too.

Not that I see myself using this if it ever came to my particular backwater - I'm quite happy to use the current crop of envirofone, mazuma, etc.

Edit: actually if I was one of the guys behind ecoATM, then I'd be looking to do a sales pitch to the supermarkets to put a unit in their bigger stores. And of those, I'd suggest Tesco and Sainsbury's would be the natural choices because they both have loyalty cards, so instead of getting cash you could get the equivalent value in points instead.