GRCC vending machine dispenses laptops

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new kind of vending machine is up and running at Grand Rapids Community College.

Instead of dispensing snacks, this one provides laptops.

GRCC is the first college in the state to install a laptop vending machine. 

To check one out, students must swipe their college ID card and enter their password. The machine then snaps a picture of them, and out pops a laptop. 

The service is free to students and is already popular since the vending machine began operating in October.

"We have over 500 checkout and 660 hours of usage on the laptops," said Kurt Meinders, customer support director at GRCC.

Students use cloud-based programs to share and store work. Once the laptop is inserted back into the machine, information left on it is wiped clean and the computer’s battery starts to recharge.

"This came about because we have a wide-ranging student population and there are some portions of that population without the resources to purchase their own laptop and have access to them. And this gives them access that they would normally not get without having to go to the lab," said Meinders.

GRCC says the program has been so successful they are looking to add more machines. 

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