Unleashing Poken to the physical web: Vending machines and beyond

vending1 Guest Blogger: Mark Stewart, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at wonderMakr

When you think about the physical web, you probably think of smartphones controlling lights in your house, or a door lock that unlocks when you walk up to it. And you’d be right. The physical web is an approach that taps into the core power of the Internet: interaction between your mobile device and the objects around you. But how can this Internet of things be applied to creating engaging experiences? And what role would Poken play?

Recently, we had the privilege to work with a global consultancy company, in conjunction with Poken to build something new that harnesses the power of the Poken platform, its APIs and the great interaction people have come to love about connecting at an event with Poken.

First, a little background – my name is Mark and I am the founder and Chief Innovation Officer for wonderMakr, a small creative technology agency based in Toronto, Canada. We focus on creating innovative digital + live experiences and devices for brands, agencies and consumers. One of our core products is social vending machines – which distribute prizes and rewards for posting a Tweet, Instagram post, and more. And that’s where this physical web story starts.

We had been asked to build a social vending machine for a large event- around 1,500 attendees, who were mostly high-profile alumni. We were then informed that they would have Poken at the event as well. We really like Poken, having interacted with it at several events ourselves. It’s at this point that the gears in our heads started turning.

vending2We thought, well, if the core business objective of the event is to encourage networking and get more of this company’s alumni to connect together, why not gamify the process and reward alumni that night with a prize through our vending machines if they connected with a set number of colleagues? The client loved the idea and we set to work to make it happen.

We worked with Poken and their API to build a custom reader in our vending machine, which would dispense a prize once each person connected with 5 other people. Then by tapping their Poken interactive USB to the vending machine, our system would call through the Poken API and if they had 5+ connections, the vending machine would dispense a prize.

To say it was a success is an understatement. With a line up all night, and the networking achieving success like never before, it truly was a testament to the fun and enjoyment that people get when they interact with physical objects through smart devices. In this case the Poken.

It’s not hard to imagine any number of ways you could connect Poken to other physical objects to reward connecting and networking with others. The power of connecting through the physical web will fuel the next generation of events and conferences. And it’s only just the beginning.vending3

Thanks again Poken – it was great to use your API in a new way. You have the perfect platform to bring these physical web ideas to life.

Leave a Reply
iYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

?You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>