Pepsi's New Vending Machine Meets The Social Network

  @ibtimes on April 28 2011 7:28 AM

Gone are the days where you'd slip a couple of quarters in a vending machine and a can of soda would magically pop out seconds later.

Pepsi has announced it is introducing a new high-tech vending machine. The vending machine will make use of new technology such as a full touch screen that allows consumers to pick between several options.

Along with buying a soda with either cash or credit, the Social Vending System allows people to send a user a soda as a gift. All they have to do is enter the recipient's name, mobile number and a personalized text message. Consumers can even send a video along with the gift. Once received, the recipient will learn where they can redeem it.

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 innovative 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.

If a consumer is feeling particularly generous, it can even buy a soda for a complete stranger through its Random Acts of Refreshment service. This sends a Pepsi to any other social vending system.

The vending machine was created in collaboration with Milwaukee, Wisc. based DCI Marketing and Venice Beach, Calif. based Protagonist. Pepsi launched it from its Equipment Innovation group, which is hoping to leverage technology for the soda industry.

Our approach to technology innovation is driven by what we know consumers want. We're working with some of the best minds in the business to develop equipment that provides customization, personalization and choice, Christine Sisler, vice president of PepsiCo, said in a statement.  

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