Smart Vending Machine Rewards Yawns With Free Cup Of Coffee

Imagine stumbling into your kitchen in the morning and activating your coffee machine – with a yawn! Facial recognition can make just about anything possible, even getting a cup of strong joe.

Amy Spreeman, Spreeman Communications


Actually, this technology is a few years old. Coffee roaster Douwe Egberts experimented with the yawn-activated technology on unsuspecting, tired airline passengers at an airport vending machine in the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. back in 2013.

The machine dispensed a cup of coffee to reward fatigued folks, all via facial recognition.

Wakey Wakey

The marketing campaign that came with this event was pretty innovative as well. Says Business Insider:

Confident that a single taste would convert coffee drinkers to their brand, the company devised a clever way to spread the word. They built a vending machine that sympathetically dispenses a free cup of coffee to anyone who yawns in its presence.

The software detects the shape and movement of muscles in the face, and comparing them to stored templates. As soon as it sees a yawn, it pours out a cup.

Amy Spreeman, Spreeman CommunicationsYawning does not serve the function of drawing oxygen into the brain, as we’ve been told by our grandmothers. But for some lucky flyers, it did draw in some much needed wakey juice. 210 potential customers did get the free coffee, and had a great story to tell their friends (which no doubt is inspiring a social media brand boost that money can’t buy!)

For me, anytime innovation marries coffee experiences, I pay attention. I’m hoping this will be something we can have in our homes in the near future.

Here is the video:

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