Coca-Cola Is Planning To Debut AI-Powered Vending Machines
Soda vending machines will now have distinct "personalities"
Buying a Coke is about to get a lot more fun. This according to Greg Chambers, Coca-Cola‘s global director of digital innovation, who revealed at a VentureBeat event that the soft drink company will soon test out what it calls “next generation” vending machines powered by AI.
The new machines will work with an accompanying app and will allow for greater customization. Through the app, customers will able to order any Coca-Cola drink for themselves or someone else, and have it available at a nearby machine. The machines themselves can also be programmed with distinct “personalities” depending on their location. A vending machine at a college might have a more playful persona, whereas a machine in a hospital would be more about utility and function.
“As humans, we build emotional connections to machines and with products,” said Chambers. “We will do this in new and exciting ways. You should enjoy the process of acquiring a Coke as much as you enjoy consuming a Coke.”
According to Chambers, the new machines are set to roll out at college campuses across the U.S. in the next two weeks, as well as at select locations in Australia and New Zealand. Including AI in its machines is the latest step by Coca-Cola to become more tech-focused. In recent years, the company has been trying to reinvent how people experience their beverages at a time when soda consumption is falling. The new machines thus not only improve the user experience but also provide Coca-Cola with a wealth of information about purchasing habits.
“My goal is to push boundaries and push the brand forward,” said Chambers. “AI is the foundation for everything we do. We create intelligent experiences. AI is the kernel that powers that experience.”