Check-ins are the currency of foursquare. They serve as a small bit of word of mouth advertising and they influence the recommendations found in Explore. It makes sense, then, that businesses would want to entice more customers to check in — and what better way to do that than offering a small reward in a fun, interactive way?
This gumball machine — created by advertising agency DeVito Verdi — sits in the lobby of the Legal Sea Foods on Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. Each time a customer checks in on foursquare, the “CheckNChew” spits out a free gumball.
It’s a tiny reward, but it’s fun to do — especially while waiting for a table — making it a memorable experience that customers are likely to repeat and tell their friends about.
The machine was built by DeVito Verdi’s Tyler DeAngelo and his friend Matt Richardson of Make Magazine. “It’s one of those things where we spent way more time on it than we should have,” says DeAngelo. It’s powered by an Arduino that drives a motor and custom gear to release the gumball. Using foursquare’s venue push API, it’s able to dispense a gumball within a second of the check-in.
What do you think of the CheckNChew? What other items could be served up automatically based on check-ins?