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Pepsi Creates a Social Network Vending Machine 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the why-won't-you-accept-my-beverage-request? dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "Now even vending machines are getting in on the social media act. Pepsi has rolled out a new machine that can send a soda to a friend, using a Facebook-like functionality. From the article: '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.'"

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Pepsi Creates a Social Network Vending Machine

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  • by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Thursday April 28, 2011 @02:53PM (#35966676) Homepage

    how far would you go to get a free soda?

    I could see a lot of malls and other establishments that want more foot traffic buying into this.

    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      how far would you go to get a free soda?

      The irony is that Americans pay to receive text messages, such as the code for their "free" drink.

      • Seems like most Americans that receive text messages, particularly those that would use the social features of a socially-networked vending machine, have unlimited text messaging plans at this point. The marginal cost of the free drink is zero. Plus, what makes you think a text message would be required?
        • by Abstrackt (609015)

          Seems like most Americans that receive text messages, particularly those that would use the social features of a socially-networked vending machine, have unlimited text messaging plans at this point. The marginal cost of the free drink is zero. Plus, what makes you think a text message would be required?

          Good point about unlimited text plans, I hadn't considered that. As for why I think a text message is required, I quote TFS: "All they have to do is enter the recipient's name, mobile number and a personalized text message."

    • PepsiBot: Would you like to send a friend a soda?
      you: No thanks.
      PepsiBot: You are a bad person. Not much of a friend, are you?
      you: What?
      PepsiBot: FuzzyCat369@hotmail.com recently sent you a soda. You should reciprocate.
      you: Oh, well, yes ... I guess.
      PepsiBot: Please enter FuzzyCat369@hotmail.com's real name, address and telephone number so that we may ensure delivery of the soda certificate.

      And if you think your friends won't cough up your personal information in exchange for a soda or shiny trink
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      how far would you go to get a free soda?

      Dear NewYorkCity3411,

      Your friend, IHateNewYork7682, has sent you a Pepsi. To redeem your free Pepsi, go to any Pepsi vending machine on reka Amderma, in Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia.

    • by cthulhu11 (842924)
      Not very far. My fridge doesn't smell. I would however go somewhat farther to get free pop.
    • ...would only do it for beer.
  • by jcoy42 (412359)

    This social networking fad eats itself.

    How many different media outlets are we expected to join? Do I have to watch for cameras leeching my password off a soda machine outside Walmart now?

    • If they can get us to pay them to provide them with people's contact information, I suppose its not much of a detriment to getting into the game...
  • by dcollins (135727) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @02:54PM (#35966704) Homepage

    I call "social networking bubble". Where can I short-sell?

  • Their "Random Acts of Refreshment" is a neat idea and I'd like to take part in it, but not only do I seriously doubt I'll ever see one of these in my town but how would I know Pepsi isn't just keeping the money I give them to get some stranger a free soda?
    • by box4831 (1126771)

      how would I know Pepsi isn't just keeping the money I give them to get some stranger a free soda?

      [you] did you get that free soda i sent you?
      [friend] no?? you sent me a soda?
      [you] yeah I sent one to you via the pepsi machine
      [friend] I didn't get anything.
      [you] odd.

      After this situation occurs enough times, I imagine people will figure out that it doesn't really give their friends a soda and they'll stop using it. So there's some financial incentive for pepsi to actually deliver the drink correctly.

      • I was thinking more along the lines of the function of sending a soda to a random stranger, though. The friend-to-friend one would be glaringly obvious. From TFA:

        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.

        • by box4831 (1126771)
          Ah, I see what you mean now. Maybe I should start paying attention. Maybe I should even RTFA sometimes.
  • Great. Send a friend a soda. When will the social networking hoopla simply die?
    • by edmicman (830206)

      When will the social networking hoopla simply die?

      When humans stop wanting to interact with other humans? Technically, going out to a restaurant with friends is social networking, right?

      • by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @04:56PM (#35968678)

        When will the social networking hoopla simply die?

        When humans stop wanting to interact with other humans? Technically, going out to a restaurant with friends is social networking, right?

        Other humans? What human are you interacting with when your little geek fingers are furiously typing in your latest tweet or facebook entry? You are interacting with a machine, which is interacting, via the network, with another machine in Salt Lake City or Prineville. Social it may be, if we allow a generous stretching of the definition, but it is a damned far cry from "human interaction".

    • Great. Send a friend a soda. When will the social networking hoopla simply die?

      I'm sure it will fall flat now that the lid's off.

  • A soda machine that can be remotely hacked to shoot cans/bottles at random passersby. Maybe it'll even be able to identify individuals by their smart phones and take out specific people!

    Forget 'Have a Coke and a smile,' it's time to 'Have a Pepsi and a concussion!'
  • Hm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @03:01PM (#35966844)
    How long until we get a story about how someone totally empties one of these without paying for a single one?
    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      How long until we get a story about how someone totally empties one of these without paying for a single one?

      Wow, that guy must have a lot of friends who know he likes Pepsi.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        Wow, that guy must have a lot of friends who know he likes Pepsi.

        Verizon is currently running an ad campaign asking people to send email and text messages to some 110 year old woman, so she can have "a happy birthday".

        Sure, a mailbox stuffed to capacity and a phone that can't be used because it is so busy getting incoming text messages, that would make a happy birthday for me, for sure.

        How long until Pepsi does the same thing? "Send Velma a can of Pepsi for her birthday....". Hope she's not a diabetic.

        Or better, someone does something like the old classified ad trick

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @03:05PM (#35966914)

    I've had quite a few times that I didn't have change and wanted a soda. If I could send myself a soda (paid by credit card, or Google Checkout, or whatever) and walk up to a machine and enter a code to get it, I'd probably do it. Other vending items would work as well.

    • by MachDelta (704883)

      I don't know where you live, but I know at my university virtually all of the vending machines take debit and credit cards.

      And despite possessing a significant level of slashdot-induced paranoia about such things, I must admit that the RFID enabled ones are actually kind of neat: You just pick your drink, wave your card/wallet at the machine, and grab your beverage at the bottom, and off you go. Perfect for those "my next class is on the other side of campus and I forgot my personal jetpack" times.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        Perfect for those "my next class is on the other side of campus and I forgot my personal jetpack" times.

        Yeah, buy three cans of pop, shake them really hard, and strap them on your back. Zoom zoom zoom, almost like a Mazda. Kinda messy for all those around you, and you have one hell of a carbon footprint...

  • Previously, I had to buy two sodas, and then hand one of the sodas to friend.

    With the magic of social networking and Pepsi, now I only have two buy two sodas, enter a phone number, enter a greeting, record a video, and send a free soda code to a friend's mobile device, which they can use to access the same machine and retrieve a free soda.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...but we were beat by a Pepsi

  • Can I press a different button to have someone DENIED a soda next time they put their money in a Pepsi machine?
    No refund. Nada.

  • Some friend (Score:5, Funny)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday April 28, 2011 @03:16PM (#35967100)

    A real friend would send me a Coke.

  • Dumb idea for soda, but could have possibilities if done with beer.

  • Some gift. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Someone sent you some high fructose corn syrup, I mean, some corn sugar!

    With friends like these...

  • Student athletes competing for a spot on the team, sending repeated gifts of vending machine sodas and cream pies to their rivals a couple weeks before cut day

  • It sounds like all this machine does is send a text message to the specified recipient with a code they can punch in to redeem their soda. The article doesn't specify if these machines are networked together or if you can only redeem the soda at the machine the gift was originally purchased at.

    This seems a lot like the way the car wash works at my local gas station. I buy a car wash at the pump and it prints out a redeemable code on my receipt; the only difference being that the code is sent via SMS inst
  • I think the genius part of this idea is that every time a consumer send a Pepsi to a friend, Pepsi captures that mobile phone number and can then send their own marketing alerts to that person.

    It's a great idea for Pepsi, but outside of the novelty of sending a Pepsi to someone by SMS, I don't really see this becoming very popular. Maybe in Middle Schools?
  • by TimeElf1 (781120)
    Anyone else picturing that 7UP commercial with the machine on the tank treads shooting cans at people? I know I am, I would be happy to buy Pepsi for friends if I'm able to launch the soda at them from the machine.
    • by WhiteDragon (4556)

      Anyone else picturing that 7UP commercial with the machine on the tank treads shooting cans at people? I know I am, I would be happy to buy Pepsi for friends if I'm able to launch the soda at them from the machine.

      I remember those. I seem to recall the Mythbusters (Well, M5 Industries) made the effects for that one.

  • Nuka Cola Caps? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frooddude (148993) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @04:15PM (#35968016)

    This begins to explain the idea behind bottle caps as currency I suppose....

  • can I get the machine to withhold soda from someone? Better yet, can I get the machine to travel to a friend's house and steal their soda? I'd pay extra for that!

  • OMG, Please tell me there's an API for this! Like my blog? >Buy me a soda!
  • so being social is:
    - Being holed up in your room in front of a big bright blue screen
    - "Liking" things that you would scoff at if presented to IRL
    - Wasting your time watering plants that probably won't result in anything tangible whatsoever
    - If you manage to get out of the house, stare at the small bright blue screen all the way until you reach another big bright blue screen
    - Tasing someone who pokes you in reality
    - AND NOW, going to the vending machine, dying of thirst and bleeding out of your parch

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