the ‘social vending machine’ by pepsi co

debuting a prototype at the national automatic merchandising association’s oneshow, pepsi co has created ‘social vending system’, a network of interactive vending machines that let users purchase beverage gifts for friends and strangers, complete with personalized video message.

the menu of the touchscreen system offers three options: ‘buy a drink’, ‘gift a drink’, or ‘connect with pepsi refresh’, which links users to the company’s ‘pepsi refresh project‘ social action grant funding program.

the ‘gift a drink’ section lets users buy a beverage for a friend, who is informed of the gift via text message and given a system code to redeem at any ‘social vending machine’. the gift can also be personalized with a short video message recorded at the machine, which the recipient can view when he redeems the code. pepsi co assures that e-mail addresses and phone numbers are not stored.

‘random acts of refreshment’ lets users purchase a drink and optional message, to be available to a stranger at a social vending machine in a particular city. pepsi co suggests: ‘a consumer could send a symbol of encouragement to someone in a city that has experienced challenging weather, or a congratulatory beverage to a student at a university that just won a championship.’

video overview of the features of the ‘social vending machine’

the machines offer consumers additional functionality relative to standard vending machines, such as the ability to see nutritional information about each item prior to purchase.

on the operational side, the networked system allows owners of the vending machines to better manage inventory levels and schedule deliveries, as well as remotely change messages and media content on the devices.

pepsi co: social vending system screenshot from the vending machine, illustrating nutritional information for a product

pepsi co: social vending system users can purchase beverage gifts for their friends, who will be sent a special code by text message, redeemable at any ‘social vending machine’

via crave