Vending machine trades tea for tweets

South Africa now boasts the world's first "Twitter-activated" vending machine.

If you happen to find yourself in need of a cool beverage but don’t have any spare change, a new vending machine in South Africa won’t leave you thirsty.

BEV, a high-tech vending machine from the South African beverage company BOS Ice Tea, requires tweets, not cash for a taste of its teas. To receive a free sample of BOS Ice Tea, users standing in front of the device simply need to tweet to the company using a specific hashtag.

To ensure that the machine won’t be overwhelmed by Twitters users around the world, BEV has built in safeguards that only pay attention to those sending tweets in the immediate area of the machine.

Digital Trends reports:

Connected into the Twitter Streaming API, the hashtag acts as a filter and all tweets that contain the hashtag are pulled from the stream into BEV.

However, BEV also looks at the location data of the tweet and compares it to a predetermined boundary set by BOS. This means someone beyond a short distance from the machine won’t be able to activate BEV by simply adding the hashtag to their tweet. This also means the Twitter user has to add location data from their mobile device to the tweet.

While there’s currently only one BEV machine located in Cape Town’s Wembley Square, the machine’s makers plane to tour the device around South Africa.

Source: BBC News

Image, Video: BOS Ice Tea

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