South African beverage company BOS Ice Tea has found a new way to engage (and reward) consumers in realtime: a vending machine that dispenses drinks for tweets.
The BOS vending machine (the ‘ice tea robot,’ according to Memeburn) is called BEV, and currently resides at Wembley Square in Cape Town. It connects to Twitter’s streaming API, registers the configured hashtag as a filter, and then all tweets containing the hashtag on Twitter are streamed to the BOS sampling machine.
BEV then checks every Tweet’s location settings, compares those settings with its own location boundaries, and dispenses an iced tea when there’s a match. After each drink is dispensed, the machine shuts down for a set period – during this time, the tweeter’s screen name is displayed on the LED display, alternating with the amount of time before the machine will be active again.
Pretty cool, all in all. BOS Ice Tea is an organic beverage made in South Africa from Rooibos, an indigenous plant. The company claims this is the world’s first Twitter-activated vending machine (Memeburn).
While we didn’t find any data on the number of ice teas that have been dispensed so far, the campaign is certainly fun and using Twitter seems a good choice, given that South Africa has the most prolific tweeting on the continent.