Yakult – Yakult Artificial Intelligence Vending Machine (Best New Product)



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Category: Best New Product

Name of Product: Yakult Artificial Intelligence Vending Machine

Company Name: Yakult

Applicant Name: Emma Dita

Company: Yakult


The vending machine is a symbol of modern Japan, an unusual yet very popular attraction for visitors from all over the world. The unique Yakult Artificial Intelligence Vending Machine, developed in the UK, aims to offer a slice of Japan through an engaging experience that sees users learn words in the Nippon language to receive a free bottle of Yakult. This mechanic builds on one of the brand’s main communication pillars – Japanese heritage.
The Yakult Vending Machine uses real time natural language processing to interpret what users are saying and reward them. It’s a completely bespoke machine, with integrated touch screen, camera, microphone and speakers, and can go as far as detecting when someone is walking by and looking at it, thereby triggering the experience to begin.
The interaction with the Yakult Vending Machine is very intuitive and relies on a combination of audio messages and animation. The users simply need to touch the screen to choose the Japanese word they want to learn, repeat it until they get it right, select the product they prefer and collect it.
The technology developed for the Yakult Vending Machine offers flexibility in terms of the mechanic, which means that in the future it might ask users to do something completely different for their free Yakult. When thinking of new engagement options, the main focus will always be on the creative element and brand messages, to create an engaging experience.
To offer people the chance to learn a word in Japanese and get a free Yakult, in 2018 the vending machine will travel around the UK and Ireland, for events like the Festival of Curiosity taking place in Dublin in July, and the British Science Festival happening in September in Hull.

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