Unilever, the world’s biggest ice cream manufacturer, is running the world’s first smile-activated vending machine, bringing the Share Happy concept to new levels of augmented reality. An entertaining “attractor screen” playfully immerses a passerby into the world of augmented reality, Wall’s-style. Once drawn closer to the machine, the person is prompted for a big smile and the ‘smile-o-meter’ measures his or her grin. A photo is then taken and with permission uploaded onto Facebook. The consumer can pick out his or her free ice cream by using the touch-screen interface on the vending machine. The smile-activated ice cream vending machine made its first public appearance in May 2010 at the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal, before traveling to Cannes in June. It will roll out into high-traffic consumer locations like shopping malls across the globe over the next 18 months.
Facial recognition technology is used to track if a person is smiling. The smile-o-meter uses captures and measures a person’s smile to let a person know how happy he or she is. 3G technology is used to enable uploading and sharing of smiles via social media with the user’s permission.
See more on the Share Happy Facebook page, and check out the photos from Cannes at SapientNitro’s Facebook page.
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