The Bending Of The FutureI like it when the future begins to bend, particularly when it's in a way that I never imagined. From Daily Tech (I'm excerpting at length because this is quite cool):
Pepsi recently announced that it will release a new vending machine that utilizes technology such as a full touch screen for beverage selection, and will allow consumers to use cash or credit. But the more notable addition to this high-tech vending machine is its use of social networking among Pepsi drinkers.
In addition to simply selecting a soda for oneself to drink, the new vending machine also allows consumers to send soda to each other. Let's say a person wants to send a Pepsi to someone in another building that has the same vending machine, or even to someone that does not have the same vending machine. The consumer can enter the recipient's name, mobile phone number and a personal message into the vending machine, and it will send a text message to the recipient.
The consumer can even record a video to be sent to the recipient. In the received text message, the location where the Pepsi can be redeemed will be noted along with the personalized message or video.
Consumers can also send a Pepsi product to a complete stranger through the "Random Acts of Refreshment" option. This allows a consumer to send a Pepsi product to any other social vending machine.
That's actually innovative. Brilliant, really, to do those kinds of things with a vending machine.
Now, it will obviously be hacked to smithereens within weeks and basically become free Pepsi machines, but still, it's totally cool.