Pepsi Introduces Social Vending Machines

Bored with traditional vending machines? This week, PepsiCo announced the launch of its new Social Vending System, a system the company claims will transform the “static, transaction-oriented experience” of buying a soda into one that is “fun and exciting.”

The social aspect of the machines comes in buying drinks for friends. Customers can gift a Pepsi or Mountain Dew by selecting a soda, entering a pal’s name and cell phone number, and then writing a personalized text message to accompany the gift. Users can also record and send short videos. To receive the gift, the recipient must enter a special gift code at one of Pepsi's new machines.

"Our vision is to use innovative technology to empower consumers and create new ways for them to engage with our brands, their social networks and each other at the point of purchase," Mikel Durham, Chief Innovation Officer at PepsiCo Foodservice, said in a statement. "Social Vending extends our consumers' social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they'll want to return to, again and again."

Social vending customers can also buy beverages for strangers, though it’s unclear how strangers will receive the “Random Acts of Refreshment.” Nutritional info is also available at the social machines, and Pepsi has hinted that future models may integrate with Facebook and Twitter. Check out the demo video below.

What do you think about social vending machines? Fun and exciting or silly and unnecessary?

PC Mag

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