Here are two great examples of how social can enhance the (typically dull) vending machine experience;

Coke installed oversize vending machines – called the Friendship Machine – with a two-for-one offer button so high up on the machine it required people to work together – giving a friend a helping hand, or rather leg-up to reach it, and get two Cokes to share. Coke sales from the machines were 1075% higher than regular vending machines.

More innovative from a technical point of view is the BevMax 4.45 from  BOS Ice Tea: The South African brand  has rolled out a Twitter activated vending-machine.  To get a free sample, people have to send and share a tweet (@bos BOSTWEET4T) and the machine delivers a free sample (thanks to James Briscoe of Unique Digital for the heads up).

As we reported last year Pepsi has been pioneering the social vending machine last year with a prototype that allowed you to gift a Pepsi from a vending machine (via a SMS coupon sent directly from the machine to a friend, and that could be redeemed in the vending machines).

With the rise of Web 3.0 – the web of things – we think the next frontier in social will be POS and smart connected devices.