The Peak Shift vending machine (nicknamed Polar Bear) only cools drinks at night, when demand on the electricity grid is lower. During the day, it completely shuts down, soundlessly dispensing cold drinks while saving energy.
The idea of halting cooling in a soda machine during peak vending hours in the summer was radical enough for researchers to dub the project “Apollo,” for the historic moon mission, when the team first hatched the idea in 2011.
There were several eco-friendly vending machines
The disaster created both a moral imperative and a business challenge, as rolling blackouts and calls to save energy in Japan put pressure on the vending industry.
After testing the machine both in the lab and in the field,
Coca-Cola’s famous polar bear distinguishes the Peak Shift, carrying with it a number of messages that appear printed in word balloons on the vending machine, such as “Wouldn’t it be great if there were more vending machines like this?” and “Saving energy during peak hours? What a smart vending machine!” The polar bear, which first appeared in Coke advertising in France in 1922, has new relevance as a symbol today amid concerns of global warming and diminishing glacial ice, making it a perfect emblem for Peak Shift.
Tim Brett, representative president,
Ashley Callahan is Digital Communications & Social Media Manager at The
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