This New Cup Noodles Machine Uses Instagram as Currency: Here’s How It Works

This New Cup Noodles Machine Uses Instagram as Currency: Here’s How it Works
Cup Noodles’ ‘Dream Machine’. Cup Noodles

Instagram walls are a thing of the past. Now it’s all about social media-powered vending machines!

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Foodbeast, a digital media house known for creating visceral food experiences, teamed up with Nissin Foods USA to create a vending machine – known as the Foodbeast #DreamMachine – that operates using only Instagram likes.

Confused? Here’s how it works: Users begin by pressing a button on the machine, which is stocked with Nissin’s Cup Noodles, video games, gift vouchers and other merchandise, and that generates a unique hashtag. Customers must then post a photo with the machine on their public Instagram accounts using the special hashtag and tagging @foodbeast and @originalcupnoodles. Once the post is live, the machine will share some further instructions and dispense your prize within seconds.

“What started as a joke in a campaign ideation session turned into a project combining web development, machine fabrication, wiring and networking,” said Rudy Chaney, CTO and cofounder of Foodbeast, via a press release. “We’re hoping this machine allows for the democratization of the Instagram influencer experience.”

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One machine, which debuted on Friday, March 1, is currently located within the Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles County. A second machine will be unveiled in Las Vegas Premium Outlets South on Wednesday, March 6. The California-based device has clever signs on either side of it. “Post a selfie to drop a prize from the shelfie!” reads one. Says the other: “Winner! Winner! Cup Noodles chicken dinner!”

Both devices are actually retrofitted 1970s-model vending machines bought off Craigslist and eBay, and they each are equipped with an internet-connected “Raspberry Pi” computer that virtually controls all aspects of the apparatus. Given that the machines rely on Instagram, they also boast a hashtag session authentication system that is used to verify posting and the active user.

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“We’ve had a great partnership between Cup Noodles and Foodbeast and are excited to launch the Dream Machines for our fans,” explained Jaclyn Park, vice president of marketing at Nissin Foods USA. “We know how active our fans are on social media, and the Dream Machines are a surprising new way we can connect with our fans and thank them with fun prizes for including Cup Noodles in their social conversations.”

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