BostInno recently shared about a lot of techy things going on over in Boston’s Kendall Square, but I’m pretty sure this one takes the cake. The Legal Sea Foods location has installed a gumball machine that dispenses a piece of gum every time you check-in on Foursquare.
According to the About Foursquare blog, the “CheckNChew” gumball machine was developed by Legal Sea Foods’ New York ad agency, DeVito/Verdi. By coupling an open-sourced electronics prototyping platform called an Arduino with foursquare’s API, a sugary gumball is released moments after a user checks in to that particular Legal Sea Foods location.
“It’s one of those things where we spent way more time on it than we should have,” DeVito/Verdi’s Tyler DeAngelo tells About Foursquare. After watching this video, though, I’d say their time spent on it was well worth it.
Why I’m Curious: I’m curious about the possibilities with check-ins and insta-rewards. Check-in to your home after a workout, and the shower automatically turns on. Check-in to your favorite bar, and you’re automatically poured a beer. After seeing this video, I already want to travel to Boston, eat at Legal Sea Foods and grab a gumball. The crazy thing is I don’t even love seafood OR gumballs. However, the “awesomeness” level of social media vending machines reels me in and fosters deeper senses of surprise and delight I now associate with both Foursquare and Legal Sea Foods. I also think with the new updates Foursquare just rolled out this week, check-ins play an even bigger role in its Explorer functionality rendering them more beneficial than ever for companies.