One of the coolest things we saw at CES wasn’t at a booth, it wasn’t even in one of the halls, it was just a small machine near the entrance of the food court. This machine however, does some pretty awesome things, and we definitely think you’ll be seeing more of this machine in the future.
The machine I’m talking about, is the ecoATM. The ecoATM is a kiosk about the size of a Redbox that allows consumers to sell their old mobile devices and MP3 players to ecoATM for resale or recycling. The ecoATM can recognize over 5000 models of cell phones, and many of the major MP3 players. The way it works, is if you have an old cell phone, or a few old cell phones, you can take them to an ecoATM and the kiosk will scan, identify, and find the best market cell price for your device. The best part is the fact that it is all automated, with no assistance required. You just bring your phones in, and leave with cash.
When you first bring your phone to an ecoATM, you pick which device it is, and then receive a small ID sticker to place on the back of your device. The machine will then scan your phone, and after comparing your device with images and specs of a “perfect” model it was trained on, it will determine the condition of your device. Then a charging wheel will spin until your charger appears, and after plugging it in, it will determine if the device is still functional or not. After all of this is completed, the ecoATM will give you a price for how much your device is worth, and spit the cash out in the given dispenser. You can do this with multiple phones at a time as well and MP3 players and cell phones in the same transaction. Most of the phones are given a new home if in good enough condition, and if not ecoATM will recycle the phones so you can feel good about getting rid of your old phones, and have some extra cash in your pocket while you’re at it. ecoATM has told us they are currently in mostly west coast areas, and their goal is to work from west-to-east in the US, soon giving everyone a local ecoATM to stop by.