Most of us associate the smart objects phenomena with the last few years. Experts predict that 2014 will be the year where smart objects really take off. Despite this, you may be surprised to hear that one of the first smart objects was much simpler and occurred over 30 years ago in the form of something we see almost every day… a Coca Cola vending machine. In 1982 grad students at Carnegie-Mellon’s Computer Science Department connected a vending machine to the Internet.
The machine, primitive to today’s standards allowed the students to do a few things. These included checking the stock of the machine and temperature. While these were big tools back in the day, it’s interesting to look at this type of data with a contemporary lens. A few uses of a modern IOT vending machine could be inventory notifications, market research and usage statistics. For example a machine located in DC may identify a trend of Coke Zero selling better than Diet Coke. Those at Coca Cola Distribution could then take steps adjust the amount of each drink stocked into the machine
Do you have any ideas of how an internet connected vending machine could aid Coca Cola’s marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments!