Swap-O-Matic: Whimsical Vending Machine Faciliates Trades

We all have those items that hang around our homes for months or years that collect dust untouched. Sometimes, however, we develop a sense of attachment to those items, and just don't want to see them discarded. Trying to sell pre-loved items to collectors, thift stores, or by holding a yard sale is a whole lot of effort with little payout. This inconvenience leads many of us to hoard things we wouldn't allow to take up valuable space in our homes. A new business concept uses technology to offer a whimsical solution.

The Swap-O-Matic has a vintage sounding name, but it is actually a modern convenience with a touch of whimsy. It's a vending machine, but unlike typical technology where the only option is to get things out of device by spending money, it uses a different type of currency.

Of course, the main principle is to purchase the items inside the unique vending machine; but there is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to what's available. The device contains a variety of compartments that can be viewed from the outside, so that people can see if they're interested in making a purchase. Nothing is guaranteed - you won't always find pizza, flip-flops, coffee, or any other strange things dispensed from other vending concepts around the world. But that doesn't mean that one day you won't find the object of your heart's desire.

While purchases aren't a surprise, this vending machine is an extension of other concepts we've seen become popular recently - like the "little libraries" that have been popping up around the globe, allowing avid readers to select simply from what's in front of them.

"Little library" users are exposed to new genres and ideas when the selection limits them to choosing something they'd never have previously considered. The Swap-O-Matic gets its whimsical nature the same way as it opens your mind and helps you prioritize and consider the objects that you need in your life. If that ends up being a Ninja Turtle backpack, then so be it.

The really cool part is that you can either pay money in order to obtain the credits necessary to purchase an item in the vending machine, or you can trade in one of those objects you just haven't been able to part with so someone else can enjoy it.

It's easy to take this vending concept lightly, especially since it's not likely to turn much of a profit. But that's exactly the point - the inventor wants to use this development to draw attention to our societal habits that have become consumption-focused. She hopes we will reconsider the old "reduce, reuse, and recycle" mantra and adopt better habits. The Swap-O-Matic makes it increasingly more possible to do so by catering to use with convenience. 

Right now, the Swap-O-Matic prototype is making its way around the NYC/Brooklyn area, but it's been promised that we'll see more in the future.

What do you think of this (sort of) non-profit vending machine?

 Via: Gizmag