Ice Cream Machine Vends Portions Based on Customer Mood
As we've all learned from countless sitcoms and romantic comedies, nothing cures the blues better than big old bowl of cookie dough ice cream. And that's the very logic at work behind artist Demitrios Kargotis's new vending machine, which doles out portions of frozen custard based on a customer's mood. The sadder the customer, the more ice cream he or she is rewarded with.
The Mr. Whippy machine debuted at the Ars Electronica digital art festival currently underway in Linz, Austria. It works by having a customer answer a series of questions -- the responses to which are analyzed using software that measures voice stress. If Mr. Whippy determines that you're having a bad day, the machine attempts to cheer you up with a bigger portion of ice cream than you'd otherwise receive if you were happy.
Sadly, the contraption is only an art project at this time and can't even be classified as a prototype in the works. So, while it's very unlikely we'll see Mr. Whippy machines installed on street corners any time soon, it did get us thinking what else this voice- and mood-detecting reward technology could be used for in the future:
- An automatic HR department machine that doles out raises based on how much butt you kiss?
- A mechanized therapist that spits out Prozac when you're really down in the dumps?
- DVDs that stop playing and dissolve into thin air when they determine that you're completely dissatisfied with your rental?
- A Windows operating system that apologizes when it detects frustration?
The possibilities are endless! Share your own ideas in the comments below.
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