Social drinking

PepsiCo have launched a new social vending machine which lets users send free drinks to their friends – along with a personalised video message – all sound a bit space age? The new machine allows the users to select a drink, enter the recipients name and mobile number and personalised text message with a code to redeem their drink at another machine. Customers can also record a short video message directly from the machine, a nice touch to really bring the social nature of the concept to life. Theres even a ‘Random Acts of Refreshment’ function which allows users to buy drinks for a stranger!

The new machine transforms the humble vending machine from a static, transaction-oriented experience into something engaging and fun. Word on the street is that Coca-Cola are also experimenting with the possibilities of vending machines. Aside from their fictional “Happiness Machine,” Coke has also introduced interactive machines with touchscreens.

Though Pepsi’s idea represents an evolution in the possibilities for vending machines, the lack of a Facebook or Twitter tie-in is a glaring omission – lkinking the machine directly into your own social network – but this is probibally next on the list!

The idea is an intersting one – I wonder if its gone a step too far – how annoyed would you be if you were gasping for a drink and the person in front was busy recording video to gift a drink to a friend!

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