We're all influencers now.
We're living in the golden age of vending machine innovation. Around the holidays, Ohio State University installed a bacon vending machine, just in time for finals ( it sold ready-to-eat, shelf-stable bacon strips and bits for a dollar a pop). And that was just two months after New York City got its first soft serve vending machine, designed in partnership with artist Curtis Kulig (you might recognize his popular "Love Me" graffiti tag, which was recently splashed across a line of Swell water bottles sold at Starbucks). And now, vending machine technology has reached new heights with the introduction of instant noodle vending machines that convert social media posts into currency.
Created by digital media house Foodbeast in partnership with Nissin Foods USA (the company behind Cup Noodles), the #DreamMachines (yes, that's their official name) distribute prizes after users post Instagram photos with certain hashtags on their personal feeds. Specifically, you press a button on the #DreamMachine, wait for it to generate a unique hashtag, post a selfie with the vending machine on your Instagram using that unique hashtag (and tagging @foodbeast and @originalcupnoodles), follow the instructions on the screen, and claim your prize (freebies include instant noodles, Cup Noodles merch, video games, and gift vouchers).
"What started as a joke in a campaign ideation session turned into a project combining web development, machine fabrication, wiring, networking," Rudy Chaney, CTO and Co-Founder of Foodbeast, said in a statement. "We're hoping this machine allows for the democratization of the Instagram influencer experience."
There are currently two #DreamMachines in operation: one in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles County (near Lids), and another in Las Vegas Premium Outlets South (near Volcom). So, if you've always harbored dreams of being a noodle influencer, now you know where to get your start.