Digital Examples has brought the Delites vending machine digital experiential idea to my attention (watch the video below):
You'll see that after each progressive interaction, the machine makes people work harder for their free food, by mashing a simple button on the front of the machine. And they do. Some of them 400 or 500 times, to release some free rice (mentalists).
You know what I see? Kinetic Energy! (I think, been a long time since I did physics). And it could solve the world's energy crisis.
Consider our current global economic meltdown, and also our global energy crisis. We should distribute all food this way - a vending machine on every street corner giving out free (branded, of course) food in exchange for people mashing buttons and pulling levers, generating electricity for the masses (by masses, of course, it's likely that would be the elite superclasses, lounging in penthouse suites watching high-def Blu Rays on cinema-size screens powered by the sweat of the poor).
Just imagine it: homeless folk in great shape, all thanks to the WonderVend(TM). Old people able to pay their fuel bills and eat through 1 simple interaction (albeit several thousand times, so cardiac arrest may well rocket). Of course, black market devices would emerge - the Automated Multi-Masher, if you will, promising to do the work for you in exchange for clicking on a web banner (irony? nah).
Children could be manipulated in social experiments akin to Pablo's Dog, where we randomly show the WonderVend(TM) counting down to zero, seemingly without interaction whilst slobbering babes (not that kind) stare in hope, only to have their anticipation cast aside as bugger all comes out of the machine's belly.
Or maybe I've just let my imagination run away in my lunch hour (I'm not eating rice, in case you wondered) and this is just, in fact, another example of an increasing trend in interactive vending machines.