Unlike a typical vending machine, Dispersion is designed to track its users as there some concern that public access to lethal pathogens may demand future government monitoring and control. One of several methods employed is the use of a specialized fingerprint recognition system. Instead of using an arbitrary antiquated currency, customers register their fingerprint at any Dispersion registration point.
Once entered into the system, any Dispersion vending machine can be activated with the "touch of a finger", instantly invoking numerous screens and access to a wealth of personal pathogen options. Dispersion can also link and track each purchase to an individual customer, allowing for personal profiles to be generated. This also allows for background checking and pathogen quotas for suspect individuals. Incorporating new methods of collaborative filtering, Dispersion can also offer suggestions for "candidate" pathogens during subsequent purchases.
The images below are a small fraction of the thousands of individual fingerprints collected during Dispersion's two week user study at Ars Electronica in September 1999. Dispersion seamlessly captured every person that touched the vending machine. All of the prints are currently being processed and distributed to agencies interested in tracking and studying lethal biological pathogen users. We cannot disclose the agencies involved in this study at this time.