Keep an eye out for the latest trend in socializing business: the social vending machine.

Pepsi has just revealed their new “social vending system” hoping the trend will be “the next generation in interactive vend technology.”

Here’s how it works: rather than insert coins and retrieving a beverage as a regular vending machine, there’s a touch screen which allows users to make choices for themselves there, as well as purchase a drink for another person. If they want to offer it to someone they know, they simply enter the person’s mobile number which sends them a personalized message and instructions on how to redeem their gift. They can then redeem their drink at any other social machine.

Mikel Durham of PepsiCo says that “the social vending machine is part of PepsiCo’s responsibility to deliver brand experiences at every touch-point of people’s lives and beyond the confines of their own devices. We’re empowering our consumers to connect with their friends at yet another point of contact – right at purchase.”

People can also purchase drinks to gift random strangers, which Pepsi is calling, “random acts of refreshment.”

What do you think about this? Do you plan to gift drinks to friends or strangers? What other brands do you think may follow suit and start socializing their products?