We would love to give an industry shout-out to the company Innovative Vending Solutions, who have done some truly amazing work in the vending machine realm. As we’ve explored in past blogs, the vending machine is a pretty ancient technology, and the way that IVS incorporates the cutting edge tools of mobile data, social media, and modern convenience is an awesome way of keeping the vending machine relevant!
For example, one of the projects they’ve pioneered is powering vending machines with Tweets. Their vending machines installed at the University of Michigan accepted Tweets from students as currency—the machines were activated when students stood in front of them and tweeted a specific hashtag at a specific handle, and then the machine would reward them with some kind of back-to-school prize. What a cool way of developing a social media presence!
Another great IVS venture was the machines they created for the launch of an IKEA store in Winnipeg, Canada. Customers could insert an Allen wrench—the tool iconically used to assemble all IKEA furniture—into the vending machine, twist, and it would randomly dispense an IKEA prize, from candy to gift cards.
IVS also had an amazing campaign for JELL-O Canada in which a vending machine with an LCD touch screen and refrigerated dispensing unit would snap pictures of participants’ “Jell-Oh face” and distribute free samples in return. The best part was that the pictures of users were broadcast onto the largest digital billboard in Yonge & Dundas Square!
Here at Tassi Vending, we’re always looking toward the future of the business, and we love IVS’s ideas! Here are a few other possible uses they discuss for vending machines today:
Distribute any kind of apparel, from T-shirts to undergarments—perfect for screen printers or in tourist areas, or for circulating promotion merch!
Vending machines at schools, colleges, and universities can sell more than snacks— they can sell phone chargers, USB drives, pencils, or school spirit merchandise like branded water bottles.
Gyms and health clubs are perfect locations for vending machines, selling mini shampoos and soaps, toothbrushes, deodorant, swimming caps, headphones, or socks.
And you know what? Today’s Micro Markets are also part of the landscape of vending machine futures. A Micro Market from Tassi uses no-cash easy-swipe technology for payment, while providing much healthier, fresher, and diverse options than every before.
If you think vending machines are on their way out, think again! The future is now—get a Micro Market!