PepsiCo Tests Interactive Vending Machines

Coming soon to a mall near you is a vending machine with more features than you could ever possibly need ... But hey, it does sound like fun.

PepsiCo recently unveiled the pilot program of Pepsi Interactive Vending Machines in five mall locations. The new interactive vending technology, part of the larger social vending experiment PepsiCo began last year, aims to transform the purchasing experience. These vending machines are most noticeably equipped with a large touch screen to simplify the buying of their beverages, which include Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist Natural, Aquafina, and Lipton Green Tea.

Buying a beverage, however, is the least you can do with these machines. PepsiCo has extended the vending machine experience to gaming on the large screens, where customers (with the purchase of a beverage at the machine) can play a randomized game and have the chance to win a free 20-ounce beverage redeemable at any Pepsi Interactive Vending Machine. Customers can also gift beverages directly from the machines, which the recipient can receive at any interactive machine, by entering the recipient's name and email with a personalized message. Recipients of gifts are then encouraged to either keep their gift, sending a gift back in thanks, or sending a gift to a third party, extending the social circle of the vending gift process. Plus, the machine provides AC power outlets and USB ports where users can charge their phones while interacting with the vending machine.

These machines are only the beginning in PepsiCo's Social Vending program, with more machines and technology enhancements expected in the future. The only question that remains is, how long does the line for the vending machine have to become before you stop playing the interactive video game?