MAYA teamed up with Oreo and Twitter to build a little taste of the future—vending machines that let South by Southwest attendees create, print, and eat custom Oreos based on trending social conversations.
SXSW is an event where innovation, technology, and creativity are celebrated, and nowhere in Austin was that joy and wonder more apparent than the Trending Vending lounge. Over the course of the festival, thousands of SXSW Interactive attendees came to the pop-up space for a new kind of vending experience, where products were designed and built in a creative collaboration between brand and consumer.
Product & Service Development
Experience & Service Design
The goal of the Trending Vending project was to quickly prototype a new experience that pushes the boundaries of how consumers engage with brands, and then test it on a global stage. The Oreo/Twitter/MAYA collaboration signaled a key approach that Mondelēz International (parent of the Oreo brand) has been taking to become the most innovative consumer packaged goods company in the world. Take an Oreo factory and put it into a small vending machine. Add personal preferences and desires to social networks and on-demand manufacturing, and you get a profoundly different and new model for product development.
SXSW attendees could watch as the machines robotically print and assemble their custom cookies using 3D printing technology and a pneumatic pump system.
The ultimate test was finding out whether participants thought their Oreo tasted as good as the classic they know and love.
To kick off the project, MAYA facilitated an innovation session with Oreo and its partners to imagine a customer journey from encountering the brand to exploring flavors to buying, experiencing, and ultimately sharing with others. The Trending Vending machine was just one of many concepts the group developed but it won the day by combining disruptive technology (3D printing) with personal/communal experience (custom cookies based on “social recipes”). Launching the idea at SXSW allowed Oreo to engage with thousands of the most savvy, connected thinkers about interactive technology. We brought two of the 3D printing vending machines to the event and the Trending Vending Lounge was born.
By leveraging 3D printing technology, the Trending Vending machine lets users create, mash up, and remix the essential building blocks of an Oreo—creme flavors, cookie wafers, shapes, and colors—to build highly customized and never-before-seen products in a matter of seconds. The result: in a little over a minute, users can design countless custom cookies based on Twitter trends, print them on demand, and enjoy them with a glass of milk.
We built a rough and ready paper prototype to help design key mechanical and choreographic interactions and communicate the high-level design concept.
An acrylic and steel prototype was used to test details. The conveyor belt in this early model was replaced by 3D printing technology.
The final vending machines use a number of digital manufacturing technologies, including a Delta Bot 3D printer, dozens of servo motors, and pneumatic creme dispensers.