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Pepsi Creates a Social Network Vending Machine

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the why-won't-you-accept-my-beverage-request? dept.

Businesses 80

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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Free soda (2)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966676)

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.

Re:Free soda (2)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966856)

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.

Re:Free soda (0)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967266)

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?

Re:Free soda (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967372)

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."

Re:Free soda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35969424)

Plus, what makes you think a text message would be required?

""All they have to do is enter the recipient's name, mobile number and a personalized text message.""

It is one paragraph, if you cant read it, dont reply to the comments.

Re:Free soda (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35976730)

My mistake.

If you're going to go this far, it seems it would be much more logical to have it tied to one of those 2d (or 3d) barcode systems via email than a text message. Maybe it's just a ploy to get cell phone numbers for marketing.

Re:Free soda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35986750)

"Unlimited text messaging plan" DOES NOT equal "free".

Re:Free soda (2)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967248)

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 trinket, I have a lovely bridge in lower New York state that I'd like to discuss with you. It's a wonderful investment opportunity!

Re:shiny (3, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967872)

Don't you know, how hard it is to get mobile numbers of people? They're not in the usual standard listings...

But Pepsi will be happy to sell their data for a fee!!

The FBI must love this - think of the consequences on the Witness Protection Program!

Better than being sent Shrubbery on Facebook (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968470)

"Why don't you boys have yourselves a Pepsi!"

Re:Free soda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35968732)

i might go so far as to devise a way to brute force the machines with all possible redemption code combos and get all the free corn syrup i want. you have to be blind and stupid to miss the fact they are collecting mobile phone numbers, the same that we had to fight to keep private from spammers. thanks, pepsi, you fucking asshole.

Re:Free soda (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35969368)

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.

Re:Free soda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35970386)

Considering that gas is $4/gallon these days and a soda only costs 0.25 a can in packs of 12 (or a 20oz bottle for $1.25 in a vending machine) my answer is....

not very far

Re:Free soda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35970644)

> how far would you go to get a free soda?

I think you're seeing from the wrong side.

Years ago I wanted to send a virtual beer. It would be very nice if I could send a *real* one for those special occasions when someone goes out of way to fix something so that others can benefit.

Pepsi came close; maybe some beer company is reading this...

No, maybe many who sell small==cheap things read this and...

No, maybe we can create a miles-like / karma-like rating system by which cool people could get points which can be redeemed for products...

Though for Linus, it would probably mean more beer... 8-|

Re:Free soda (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35971574)

Not very far. My fridge doesn't smell. I would however go somewhat farther to get free pop.

Re:Free soda (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011330)

...would only do it for beer.

I hope (1)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966688)

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?

Re:I hope (1)

Spiflicator (64611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968508)

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...

Bubbly (2)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966704)

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

Re:Bubbly (0)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966730)

Yup. We're officially in another bubble. Yee haw.

Re:Bubbly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35966964)

Where can I short-sell?

US Treasury Notes

Re:Bubbly (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967170)

Would you take investment advice from someone who confuses "where" with "what"?

Re:Bubbly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35968330)

Definitely not, I only take investment advice from pedants.

How to ask and answer smart questions (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974240)

Would you take investment advice from someone who confuses "where" with "what"?

No, but I would take investment advice from someone who knows 1. investing and 2. asking and answering smart questions [catb.org] . Here, the replacement of "where" with "what" reframed the discussion from the step to the goal [catb.org] .

Random free soda (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966742)

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?

Re:Random free soda (1)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968342)

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.

Re:Random free soda (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968640)

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.

Re:Random free soda (1)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968704)

Ah, I see what you mean now. Maybe I should start paying attention. Maybe I should even RTFA sometimes.

Social bubble needs to burst (1)

us7892 (655683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966766)

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

Re:Social bubble needs to burst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35966908)

Lets replace the international monetary systems with "friend cash"!
Now you can feed your friends into a vending machine to purchase goods!

How could this possibly be a bad idea?

Re:Social bubble needs to burst (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967710)

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?

Re:Social bubble needs to burst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35967940)

When humans stop wanting to interact with other humans?

It's funny because you think there's interaction going on.

Re:Social bubble needs to burst (3, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#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".

Re:Social bubble needs to burst (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35970366)

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.

PVC Pipe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35966790)

Now you can send soda to an enemy using facesmash-like functionality.

Finally! (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966824)

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!'

Re:Finally! (1)

sseaman (931799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966984)

Have we learned NOTHING from Maximum Overdrive?

Re:Finally! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967076)

We learned not to let Stephen King direct.

Hm. (3, Interesting)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966844)

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

Re:Hm. (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966900)

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.

Re:Hm. (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967538)

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: "make $100 a week with no work, send $1 to ... for details". "Send a Pepsi to ... for details on how to never have to pay for a can of Pepsi again."

Option to convert Pepsi order to Diet Pepsi order (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35974258)

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

Couldn't Pepsi just expose a preference for people to convert incoming Pepsi orders to Diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max orders?

Insensitive clods (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966912)

When will antisocial people like me get a fair share of these wonderful innovations? I'm still waiting for that antisocial phone, BTW.

Coins (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Coins (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967236)

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.

Re:Coins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35969728)

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

Also perfect for those "walk down a busy corridor and harvest card RFIDs" times.

Re:Coins (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35969884)

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...

Re:Coins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35970232)

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

I DON'T live at a university. I live in a suburban area and have rarely/never seen a vending machine take credit/debit cards. All you young college kids have the cool technology (and btw, i'm 28)

Re:Coins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977172)

They have them at Simon Malls, also.

Re:Coins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35967338)

I haven't tried, but one of the Coca-Cola vending machines at the Technical University of Denmark has something like that. You send a SMS with the machines id to some number and the machine gives you a coke. The charge will be added to your next phone bill.

Re:Coins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35967598)

FYI there are already soda machines that accept credit cards.

RE: tarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35969980)

that's a lot of work for a soda.

Your body thanks you every time you want a Pepsi but don't have the change.

Amazing (2)

sseaman (931799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966930)

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.

Another opportunity for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35966946)

"...the recipient will learn where they can redeem it.'" Steal a phone, send someone in address book to a machine in a dark alley and be waiting for them.

Pepsi? I'm waiting for John Deere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35966986)

And the Farmville tie in.

I'd like to buy the world a Coke... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35966990)

...but we were beat by a Pepsi

Retribution feature request (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35966996)

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 (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967100)

A real friend would send me a Coke.

free beer? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967112)

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

Some gift. (1, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967120)

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

With friends like these...

probably some of the first customers will be (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35967172)

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

HFCS KILLS! (1)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967306)


Don't every buy soft drinks, doubly so for those laden with High Fructose Corn Syrup!

I've seen patients with massive subluxations tied to the nerves which feed the pancreas! After several weeks of intense adjustments, with special attention to the subluxation, we were able to reduce the pancreatic damage caused by HFCS.

NEVER TOUCH THE STUFF!

This has been predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35967614)

This might have come as it was announced. Appropriate nonetheless.
http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/042011/soda-machine-button.gif

Low-tech? (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967620)

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 instead of printed locally.

It seems like they could take this even farther by adding the ability to purchase drink codes online, or over the phone. Why stop there, lets make gift cards that only work at vending machines; or even better, thumb print recognition for the gift card account.

Opt in to SMS Marketing (1)

BuffaloBandit (955011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35967774)

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?

Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35967844)

Now Pepsi has your name, phone number, location, and favorite beverage!

7UP? (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968010)

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.

Re:7UP? (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35969270)

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? (3, Insightful)

frooddude (148993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968016)

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

To stop receiving free soda... (1)

CrispyZorro (1809948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968360)

Respond to this message with the word "Coke."

If I pay extra... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35968688)

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!

Re:If I pay extra... (1)

mysterios_asian (2035572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982388)

lol it would be hilarious if you can actually make the machine randomly go to a friend's house & steal their soda

Forget Amazon wishlists, by me a Soda! (1)

microcentillion (942039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35969134)

OMG, Please tell me there's an API for this! Like my blog? >Buy me a soda!

Fond memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35969730)

Two things, not directly related, but still brought back some fond memories:

1) I remember as a kid 'hacking' the soda machines so that you could get free pop. Some, similar to the old arcade machines, would simply take a hit or two in the right place to provide the goods - whereas with others you would have to reach up into the dispenser and try to get the can without it being punctured (not as easy as it sounds). Not to mention the whole 'coin on fishing line or tape' thing (which was applicable to any vending machine for that matter).

2) In the early days of the Internet (80s), you could finger coffee and soda machines to see what the current status was (stock levels, fortunes, or just motd type stuff). I think there was a toaster too, though I can't remember now. Cool stuff at the time (well, I thought so, anyway!).

Thanks for reminding me of just how old I am! Get off my lawn! :-)

Re:Fond memories (1)

scottishpig (793577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35970966)

Oh yeah! When I started college there was a well-visited pop machine that, if you inserted a five-dollar bill, waited the count of three, and pushed a button, it would: (a) return the five dollar bill, (b) give you your soda, and (c) randomly give four quarters back. That was the STUFF OF LEGENDS. Now I just need to find the magic code for a social-networking vending machine to do the same.

social (2)

tanujt (1909206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35972348)

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 parched throat, only to find out that you just paid for a cola for Joe in Anchorage, AK with your last dollar bill.

Clap clap clap.

This is why I drink Coke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35976420)

They'd never come up with something so ridiculous. I can see someone standing in front of a Pepsi machine now...

PM: Would you like to send a soda to a friend?
Customer: Sure! *hits yes button*
PM: Please enter friend's text-message receiving phone number.
Customer: Ok! *whips out cell phone*
*navigates to address book*
*looks for friend's name*
*sees three iterations of friend's entry, all of which have different numbers*
Hhmmmm...which one was the number they use now? Oh, I know! I'll just check recent texts to see which one they used to text me last!
*navigates to texts*
*searches through texts to find one from friend*
*starts entering that number into machine*
703-34-AH, DAMN! It's 6, not 4! Where's the backspace button? No backspace? Fine, I'll just hit clear and start over...
*repeat seven times*
703-867-5309, Enter.
PM: Session has timed out. Soda not sent. Thank you for purchasing from Pepsi, have a good day!
Customer: FFFFUUUUUUUUUUU-!!!!!!!

Patent RE41543 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36059304)

That sounds like VendoNet Inc. Patent RE 41543, is Pepsi Licensed under that Patent?

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