Tweet to Use New Vending Machines
A South African company has come up with an unusual way of ordering beverages – you can choose and demand a cup of iced tea by tweeting the instructions to the vending machine.
The company responsible for this new idea is called BOS and the novelty of the technology has meant that it has featured widely in the industry press. These innovative vending machines are called ‘BEV’ and they are operated by the hashtag on the tweets they are sent. The customer does need to be standing in front of the drinks machines when tweeting, however.
There are few of these vending machines around as yet. They are by no means as mainstream as, for instance, the more traditional machines in the Flavia range. At present, you would need to travel to locations such as Wembley Square in Cape Town in South Africa in order to find one.
In addition to being tweet-operated, these new vending machines boast a number of other features to impress customers. The technical facilities include speakers, a camera and microphone and coloured LED lights which shine when a beverage is dispensed. In addition, the customer can view a little video screen which shows a video feed from a camera connected to the ‘arm’ that picks up the drink.
The machine talks too! A robot-like voice tells the customer to enjoy the drink once it has been dispensed. A series of programmed messages are designed to engage customers when they are waiting for the drink and these messages are repeated on a red LED display, which incidentally also adds some tension to the experience by giving the customer a countdown to the delivery of their order. The entertaining messages include, “You look thirsty, human. Let me help you”.
And what is it that this all-singing, all-dancing machine dispenses? It’s a tea that is said to be based on organic teas from a local plant called Rooibos. This is a typical South African beverage that can be drunk with milk, sugar, slices of lemon or some honey for added sweetness.
However, if you are looking for a rather more conventional vending machine, there are plenty which produce excellent blends of coffee and other reassuringly mainstream drinks. Please browse our selection to find something which suits you, human!