It may not provide food for the stomach, but if you’re seeking sustenance for the soul, this vending machine is the answer to all your prayers. Rather than dispensing sodas like traditional vending machines, or french fries like some new-fangled European kiosks, the Short Edition machines in Grenoble, France, will print out little vignettes for you to enjoy on the go.
At the behest of avant-garde Green Party member, Mayor Eric Piolle, eight of these innovative orange stands will be placed throughout the city center for the literary pleasure of Grenoble residents and visitors. All stories will be printed free of charge and readers can choose whether they’d prefer one, three, or five-minute stories.
“The idea came to us in front of a vending machine containing chocolate bars and drinks,” Christophe Sibieude, a digital publisher responsible for the concept, told the AFP. “We said to ourselves that we could do the same thing with good quality popular literature to occupy these little unproductive moments.” Sibieude’s Short Edition app, which boasts over 140,000 subscribers, powers the vending machines with users themselves creating content for the printouts.
But Sibieude credits the mayor with the ultimate vision to bring the vending machine idea to life. “We are trying to re-imagine the city center as a place of shared experiences,” Piolle said in an AFP interview. “We are trying to launch a revolution, and the objective is to build a wider and calmer downtown area.” And getting people to read (and not on their smartphones), may be the first step towards realizing this goal.
While the Short Edition vending machines are currently available only in Grenoble, the team has high hopes for the future of the technology. “We are getting a lot of requests from all over the world for this invention,” Short Edition co-founder Quentin Pleple told RT. “Once we sort out our costs, we will ship these machines anywhere – for maybe a month, several months or even for a few years.”
So get ready to order yourself a bite-sized story from a vending machine, friends. They just may be coming to a town near you.