Share Happy ice cream vending machines recognize your smile
SapientNitro (part of Sapient) unveiled the world’s first smile-activated vending machine. Built for Unilever, a large ice cream manufacturer, this ice cream vending machine is an attempt to use the augmented reality in order to attract the passersby and potentially reward them if they manage to grin enough for the wending machine’s facial recognition algorithm.
“We’re really excited about the possibility this new technology holds for Unilever. It offers a revolutionary new way for consumers to buy ice cream and, simultaneously, a revolutionary brand experience,” said Ian Maskell, Global Brand Development Director for Wall’s at Unilever.
An entertaining screen playfully immerses a passerby into the world of augmented reality, Wall’s style. Once drawn closer to the machine, the person is prompted for a big smile and the ‘smile-o-meter’ measures his or her grin. A photo is then taken and, in case the passerby agrees, it can be uploaded onto Facebook. The consumer can pick out his or her free ice cream by using the touch-screen interface on the vending machine.
SapientNitro also developed the graphic language, interface design and the unique animation style for the vending machine. Samsung was the screen provider and Sanden Vendo supplied the vending machine. The technologists at SapientNitro used facial recognition technology to track if a person is smiling. 3G technology is used to enable uploading and sharing of smiles via social media.
The smile-activated ice cream vending machine made its first public appearance in May 2010 at the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal. Since it will roll out into high-traffic consumer locations like shopping malls across the globe over the next 18 months, now is the time to practice your smile.