Instead of getting up to go to the snack machine, what if the snack machine came to you?
Tortoise Mobile Smart Stores are vending machines on wheels that can be deployed in all sorts of situations: a day at the park, after-hours in front of a restaurant, or during a ball game at the stadium.
The company behind other remote-controlled devices unveiled the concept Friday with plans to roll out in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, San Diego, Santa Cruz, CA, and South Carolina and Missouri, along with London in the coming months.
Vendors like San Diego’s Mini Donuts Company and Chicago’s grocery chain Go Grocer are signed up to bring their products where the people are. The cost to partners using the mobile machine is Tortoise’s 10 percent cut of all sales.
Tortoise has a team of teleoperators who monitor transactions and move the device around. The remote operators can also play an audio message to customers to make sure everything is going smoothly, or let them know if there’s an issue.
If you want something, the top of the lid accepts tappable credit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. Your purchase unlocks the contraption, allowing you to take out your bag of chips, doughnut, fresh fruit, or whatever is for sale.
It’s the ultimate vending machine — meant to take only 15 seconds. Plus, your quarters can’t get jammed, and your E2 selection can’t get stuck in its corkscrew niche, leaving you hungry and frustrated.