Sure, you could insert some money and get at that delicious cold beverage in that vending machine, but South African company BOS Ice Tea has another idea: why not tweet instead of pay?
They’ve set up what may be the world’s first Twitter-controlled vending machine, and they’re offering free samples all week to Twitter users who tweet nicely.
The vending machine is in Wembley Square in Cape Town, and it has a name: BEV.
BEV gives out free samples of BOS Ice Tea to anyone who stands in front of it and tweets using the hashtag #BOSTWEET4T.
As memeburn describes, the machine works by filtering all tweets in the Twitter Streaming API by the hashtag programmed in. It then checks every tweet’s location setting, and compares it to its own location, dispensing ice tea if the hashtag and location are a match. The machine then shuts down for a few seconds to show the screen name of the user who just got their tea and a countdown to its reactivation.
The location filtering means that BEV won’t just spit out a can of ice tea every time someone tweets the hashtag – they have to be standing in front of the machine in order to get their tasty treat.
BEV might be the first tweeting vending machine, but it’s not the first tweeting appliance. Coffee pots have been hacked to be turned on with a tweet in the past, and there was even a tweeting park bench in the UK last year.
You can see a video of BEV in action in the clip below.