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Need a pick me up? Yawn in front of this machine and get a coffee

Anyone who’s ever had to be at the airport for a “red eye” knows what it’s like to be part of a shuffling zombie horde.

You’re exhausted, you probably haven’t eaten and man, you could really use a coffee. If you happened to be at Johannesburg’s OR International Airport recently, then you might just have been lucky enough to get one just by letting out that yawn you’d been stifling all morning.

International coffee-house Douwe Egberts set up a vending machine capable of picking up on facial movements and recognising a yawn — prompting it to fill up a cup for you.

The coffee machine was set up at the airport’s international arrivals terminal. A few foreigners arriving in the country, and some locals returning to South Africa, must have been pleasantly surprised to discover a machine that realised they needed a quick pick me up.

The machine detects yawns using a combination of Midi tunes and facial recognition software. Essentially what happens is that the facial recognition software can monitor different aspects of the face to set different settings like volume. If someone’s mouth is open wide enough, a certain level of noise is registered and the machine dispenses the coffee. Come to think of it, I know a few people who wish they had this kind of thing in their house. Maybe Douwe Egberts should take this mainstream?

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More

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