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    The Surprise Dispenser is a vending machine for surprises!
The Surprise Dispenser
48-hour Design Challenge, Global Service Jam (location Oslo), February 2012
In February 2012 I joined another weekend of idea- and concept jamming at the Global Service Jam in Oslo, and the result was a service concept called The Surprise Dispenser. This is a team project where everything was settled within 48 hours; team, idea, concept, research, user testing, prototypes, business potensial. The PopSpots-project is another result of this 48-hour jam.
The concept is about taking the "sharing"-part that we do in the digital world into the analogue world. We wanted to create a service that gives you a great experience in the "real" world. The concept has several aspects; one is the physical aspect represented by a gift machine - which is the Surprise Dispenser. The other aspect is the online community.
The Surprise Dispenser logo and pictures that inspired us to a playful design of the dispenser.
The service works like this:
You see a strange sort of vending machine at the subway station (these slides shows our work-in-progress prototype).
You see a video of someone receiving a funny gift, and instructions on the vending machine on where to buy a gift box you can put your surprise into.
You buy a custom made box to put your surprise into at a nearby shop.
You log in on your phone in order to put the gift in the slot (for security reasons the gifts are trackable, and also for community reasons we need a log in).
Give your gift! Some people might put hobbies they want to share with others; ex. knitting needles, yarn and a receipe - while others might give music or a ticket to a concert. We tried to imagine what creative people would put into the machine. F.ex. Borat might put a tiny, green Borat-bikini and invitation to a party into the box, or Harald Eia might put a "prompepute" and a picture of his own ass…
And voilà; you can pick out your own surprise!
When you receive and open your surprise, your reaction is recorded…
… and posted on the online community. In addition, the giver gets an e-mail with the video of your reaction when you received it.
Rating and social value
You can rate the videos and the coolest gifts in the community. This basically means that the givers who has the most creative gifts and gets the coolest reactions, are the ones with the highest social value in the community.

The Surprise Dispenser service rewards creativity and encourage curiosity. But one of the coolest things with this service is that you don't really need a large community for the service to work. The service is up and running as soon as ONE person puts a gift in the box. That's all it takes.

Most of the gifts wont be the coolest gifts in the world. This is basically how it is with every service - on Facebook and Twitter I receive a lot of into that doesn't have any value for me, but there is still so much of interest there that I wont stop using it. But as you never know what's in the box, it will definitely be a surprise. In addition, we create a strange sort of relation between a giver and a receiver - someone unknown.
We believe that a nice effect of this community, is that anyone can use the website to get inspiration for gifts. Let's say you need a cool gift for someones 30th birthday, you might get a lot of ideas from seeing the videos here.

Sponsored gifts is one business potential of this idea. That means that a travel agency can f.ex. sponsor a gift that is a flight ticket to New York. That makes the dispenser even more unpredictable and surprising. Clear Channel could be a potential buyer of The Surprise Dispenser.

So whether you are a person or a company you can choose to destroy your reputation by putting something not-so-cool in the box. … Or; you can be the next Willy Wonka and hand out the golden tickets…

The great Surprise Dispenser-team: Anna-Marie Fox, Mona Nielsen, Svein Inge Bjørkhaug, Ola Einang, Nina Lysbakken and Mariann Nikmann Freij. Thank to you guys for a great team spirit and an inspiring weekend!