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The Deeply Personal Vending Machine

Project details

Product Design
Digital Craft

It seems our entire life is up for sale but where is our profit? We are the ones creating this data, so shouldn’t we own it? And if sold, what should we get as compensation? Is your data worth a candy bar?

Data is the new currency. But it’s not our’s to spend: digital companies collect and sell our most personal information to other companies and make money with it, lots. Our Facebook & Instagram profiles, website cookies, payments, locations, search behaviours, and nowadays even smart home data and sleep rituals.

Introducing the Deeply Personal Vending Machine. In this interactive art installation, Tom explores the relationship people have with their personal data. Using new digital techniques like face detection turned a vending machine into a deeply personal experience.

In order to debunk the misconception that users are the owners of their personal data, data is discovered by the vending machine automatically. Standing in front of the machine is enough to capture data from the user in various ways. For example, a camera module inside the vending machine scans the participant to calculate: Gender, Age, Attraction Score and even BMI data.

The audience negotiates step by step, which personal data they want to trade for a discount. The ultimate transaction is a free candy bar, but if made explicit which personal data has to be traded will the user still do so? Would you be able to resist the temptation?