Machine Dispenses Snacks When Economy Goes Bad

This vending machine has an interesting way of sensing that you are depressed. It monitors BBC News via their RSS feed; when there is bad economic news, it dispenses free snacks.

(Ellie Harrison vending machine via economic news)

The Vending Machine project is one of the outcomes of Ellie's period of residency at Plymouth College of Art in 2009 and is on show at the college's Viewpoint Gallery as part of her solo exhibition from 23rd April - 30th May 2009. It was programmed by Ben Dembroski in PureData and Python and uses project2891 to communicate with i-DAT in order to activate the messages on the GreenScreen. Production assistance by Jason Mills.

This device takes a more roundabout route than the HAL 9000 in sensing emotions. Rather than looking for voice stress patterns in individual people, it deduces depressed attitudes in entire populations.

Free snacks are better than stress pills, too.


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