BOS Ice Tea recently launched the world’s first Twitter-activated sampling machine at Wembley Square in Cape Town.
Known as BEV, the BOS Ice Tea-vending robot, made her debut appearance at the 2012 Design Indaba, where she spent the duration of the event, showing delegates and the public what she was capable of. Originally triggered using tokens and rigged with speakers and cameras to show her inner workings, BEV has since been tweaked to respond to tweets. When ever a tweet is posted with a unique hasthag, BEV dispenses a BOS Ice Tea. BEV’s innovation was the outcome of BOS’s ongoing approach to entertaining brand activation.
“At the Design Indaba, BEV became known for her giving nature. The next step in her extraordinary evolution was to link up the real world of sampling a refreshing BOS Ice Tea with the virtual world of sharing experiences and social interaction” says Grant Rushmere, BOS Director.
The vending machine is rigged with a series of microphones, cameras, trigger switches and sound-activated LEDs to amplify the machine’s personality. BOS’s digital agency Cow Africa, who conceptualised BEV, called on the expertise of UK-based social media agency, RAAK, to fully realise the Twitter integration.
This is how it works: The BOS sampling machine connects to the Twitter Streaming API and registers the configured hashtag as a filter. All tweets containing the hashtag on the entire Twitter network is then streamed to the BOS sampling machine. It then checks every Tweet’s location settings, and compares it with it’s own location boundaries (also configurable).
When a Tweet is found to be within the boundaries, a drink is dispensed, and the machine deactivates itself for a configurable number of seconds. During this time, the screen name field of the Tweet is displayed on the LED display, alternated every 5 seconds by the amount of seconds left before the machine becomes active again.
BEV will be stationed at Wembley Square until Friday 22 June 2012.