Adults-Only Vending Machine Debuts from Kraft
Of all the jobs we thought couldn’t be threatened by technology, we never thought we’d see those women who hand out free samples in the grocery store replaced by a machine. Guess we were wrong. As USA Today reports, Kraft Foods has teamed up with Intel to unveil a new high-tech vending machine that doles out free samples of Jell-O Temptations desserts — but only if you’re an adult.
The sci-fi gizmo uses a camera and (creepy-sounding) “Anonymous Video Analytics technology” to determine, among other things, a customer’s age — baby faces will be asked to back away from the machine.
Sorry, kiddies, your pudding will have to be purchased.
“This is wow,” Steven Keith Platt, director of research and consulting company Platt Retail Institute, tells USA Today. “I’ll now have the ability to interact with a cool device that dispenses a unique product vs. walking up to some old lady with a white apron on.”
Hey, call us Luddites if you must, but we quite enjoy snagging a sample from that old lady in an apron. However, given that the food and beverage industry spends a whopping $1 billion a year on samples, according to the newspaper, we guess we can understand why companies might want to streamline things and ensure products are reaching the right target audiences.
But does that mean adults will be kept from trying foods targeted at kids, like, say, the latest offerings from Trix, Bagel Bites or Cheetos? Because if that’s the case, we’ll definitely take the old lady. The cool quotient only goes so far.