Friendly Vending Machine Dispenses Cans With a Smile

Vending machines might keep us fed and caffeinated when we’re away from home, but they’re not exactly friendly, are they? They just sit there, waiting ¬†for you to do all of the work of choosing between the delicious choices. From a design perspective, the interaction patterns required for using a traditional vending machine are nowhere near pleasant for the human user. Industrial designer Guus Baggermans decided that something had to be done, so he created a friendly vending machine that would interact pleasantly with human users.

Friendly Vending V2 from Guus Baggermans on Vimeo.

When a user walks by the friendly vending machine, the soda cans inside all move to catch the human’s attention. By moving independently to show their labels to the person passing by, the cans seem to take on a little bit of personality. Curiously, this makes them more appealing to the person making a spontaneous purchase decision. The user is able to make a purchase without ever browsing frustrating menus or pressing buttons; simple intuitive gestures and the insertion of a coin are all that the machine needs to dispense a delicious beverage. So far there’s only one working prototype of the fantastic machine, but we can’t wait for the day when all of our vending machines greet us with friendly little gestures.

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See more in Industrial Design or under Technology. June, 2010.