A lot of things grow in Brooklyn, trees, beards and socially concious vending machines. Swap-o-matics are popping up around town, taking the bartering system to a whole new (and much more interesting) level. The vending machine lets users trade items they don’t want for more desirable items someone else doesn't want. One man's trash is another man's treasure, as they say. The creators of the machine claim that it’s intended to serve as a solution to the “consumer, corporate lifestyle” and to support the reuse and recycling movement.
The touch screen on the front of the vending machine is fairly simple. If a user donates an item to the machine they receive “credits.” These credits go toward the retrieval of items other people have donated. When swapping, users must include an e-mail for confirmation. The system is outfitted with a digital interface that uses a flagging system to prevent misuse and tampering. The Swap-o-matic has made an appearance in artsy funky neighborhood spots in New York City such as the Launch Pad and the Blue Stockings Cafe in Brooklyn. It’s currently hanging out at Apple Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, so if you live nearby and have a stock pile of old stuff you don’t want, check it out.
Credit: Lina Fenequito