It's a touch screen, networked machine that aside from enabling the purchase of soft drinks and the provision of nutrition information online, it also enables users to "gift" a drink to a friend by entering the recipient's name, mobile number, and a personalized text message (and even has an option to personalize it with a short recorded video).
The recipient of the Pepsi gift simply enters the redeem code at a pepsi social vending machine to get their soda. They can also return a thank you gift to the sender or "pay it forward" and give a gift to someone else.
In addition, the machine makes use of advanced telemetry to remotely measure and report on inventory, manage delivery scheduling, and update content on the machines. This machine is alive with changeable content and interactive communication between users.
As the Chief Innovation Officer of PepsiCo Foodservice states: "Social vending extends our consumers' social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they'll want to return to, again and again."
Additionally, Mashable reports that in phase 2, Pepsi is planning to integrate their Social Vending concept with other social media such as Facebook, extending the reach of product placement and gifting even further through cyberspace and social networking.
While many companies continue to struggle to figure out how to integrate social networking into a companies operations and make it profitable, PepsiCo has a simple formula for how it engages it's customers, promotes sales, and makes it all seem completely natural to the whole transaction--like it belonged there all along.
Great job PepsiCo!