A vending machine of tomorrow can be described with just three adjectives: smart, digitally-connected and, with no doubt, sustainable. It will sell or give away just everything, for versatile currency, with manifold purposes. A dispenser will definitely go beyond the “pay-and-get on-the-go” scheme, transcending to an eco-focused, digitally powered installation that would respond to consumer needs just like a human salesperson (or even better) and at the same time revolve around the four pillars of sustainability: environmental responsibility, cultural/knowledge vitality, social good/well-being and economic health. How do vending machines of today dip into the “smart” sustainable future across these four areas? 

Traditional taste and smell enhancers, celebrity advice, coherence with a person’s image—all this can make the product, both eatable or not, more attractive to a consumer. But there’s also another thing that can make virtually any product on the market more attractive. This magic non-physical intensifier is a ritual, which adds a new enjoyable dimension to the process of consuming a product.

Why to buy something if you need it for a limited time only? It’s much easier (and more rational) to share underused assets instead of purchasing and owning them individually. The past few years have witnessed the rise of what’s called the sharing (share or shared, collaborative, peer, access) economy which implies collaborative consumption of physical, virtual and intellectual goods. The new model of consumer relationship emerges at the intersection of online social networking, mobile technology and the social movement that comes as a response to the reduction in purchasing power. While the concept of the sharing economy seems to be clear, it needs some detailing. Why is the sharing economy good to people? What threats to traditional business can it pose? Does the collaborative consumption have a potential to become a consumer religion of tomorrow? 

With mobile devices and advanced computer technology available now, knowledge can be accessed distantly and at any time. Still, people sometimes need wisdom to be packed and delivered to them in portions, preferably in the physical dimension. The focus is gradually shifted to teaching on the go, and more mentors are hitting the road to bring their expertise to the public across the country or sometimes even across the globe. Brands gladly support or even initiate such initiatives aimed to break into the cluttered informational realities of consumers, teach the curious minds something new and let them evolve as creatives.