In this series of blogs, we want to take a step back from the technology and talk about people and their interactions and engagement with unique vending machines. Stories ranging from cameras in vending machines to talking vending machines, we will talk about it all. There is still a lot of life in the vending industry, and we want to showcase some of the most unique vending machines out there, and the experiences people have with them.
Customer Engagement through Unique Vending Machines
People seem to enjoy being able to talk to their devices. Voice command services, such as Google Voice and Siri, have been used on smart phones for a years now, and people have taken the novelty and had some fun with it. However, do these technologies increase our engagement with our mobile devices and offer us a greater sense of convenience? It is safe to say that voice command technologies have a long way to go, but as the technology continues to grow, we might see them in other unlikely places — perhaps in a series of unique vending machines.
Imagine, if you will, a vending machine that could talk back to you. Taken a bit further, imagine one of these unique vending machines demanding healthy and embarrassing actions of you in public. Check out the video of the snarky talking vending machine above.
Clearly, the vending machine is not really talking; it is someone on a microphone working the machine remotely, but the customers are engaged with one of these unique vending machines. The machine will tell people to do something, and once they do it, he rewards them with a snack. This is a fun way to get people to interact with a vending machine and try new products, such as the healthy options the vending machine was offering. It also gets them talking about the novelty of the talking vending machine and draws a crowd. I am sure there are vendors who can benefit from more traffic to their machines.
Perhaps at some point in the future, people will be able to “talk” to vending machines, so instead of pushing buttons or using motion controls to work the machine, they can tell the machine what to do, and it will do it. Even further, unique vending machines could potentially recognize customers and suggest certain products that they might like. These days, the closest thing available to that are screens that display advertisements and loyalty programs.
There are many other applications and innovations that can be integrated with unique vending machines to make the experience of purchasing products more engaging and inviting. Perhaps a talking vending machine is not the most practical or effective over time due to the diminishing novelty, but with ideas like this, vendors can innovate within their businesses to increase customer traffic to their machines in public places. With fast and easy accessibility to a wide array of information via the Internet, vendors can keep up with these new technological trends and decide for themselves if it is worth the investment to offer something different for their customers.
Stay with us at the Parlevel Vending Resources to learn more about innovations in vending. We will be compiling information from different sources to bring you all the most interesting and useful information for your vending business.