THE ROBOTS ARE taking over! Okay, maybe not completely over, but at least over for the slow-moving teenager who probably smoked on his lunch that works at the airport ice cream shop.
Rather than waiting for said poorly paid teenager to dispense your soft serve goodness, or, worse, having to dispense it yourself and unwittingly buying $9 worth of frozen yogurt, airports nationwide will soon have robots doing it for you. Reis and Irvy’s automated soft serve dispensers will be hitting airports this summer, where in under a minute you’ll have a cold, sweet treat in your hand.
The process is pretty simple: Step up to the automated kiosk, then select one of the available flavors of ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, or gelato. The selections will be among classic chocolate; very strawberry; white vanilla; peanut butter; cookies and cream; salted caramel; alpine vanilla; dutch chocolate; pink lemonade; cheesecake; watermelon; vanilla gelato; peppermint; mango sunrise; chocolate fudge; pomegranate raspberry; cake batter; and chocolate gelato.
Select the size and toppings you want, pay, then let the robot do its thing. In less than 60 seconds it’ll present you with a perfectly made dish of frozen deliciousness. And won’t show you an embarrassing “Add a tip?” screen at the end, either.
The machines will be owned by Generation Next, in partnership with the Airport Minority Advisory Council, effectively becoming a Reis and Irvy’s franchisee by placing the kiosks in airports. The AMAC is a nonprofit aimed at the advancement of women and minorities in the aviation industry. Or, in this case, robots.
After your ice cream, print your vacation pictures before you get home!
In addition to the ice cream kiosks, the AMAC is also bringing Print Mates photo printing kiosks to airports. So you can print up your favorite vacation pictures, buy a thoughtful “I Heart Florida” frame at the gift shop, and give all your loved ones selfies as souvenirs from your trip.
The Print Mates kiosks are also pretty simple. You just step up to the kiosk, connect your smartphone, and upload the images you want to print. You can also log in to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any number of photo-sharing platforms and print from there as well. Like the Fotomats of old, the kiosk dispenses high-quality glossy pictures suitable for framing, all in a few seconds.
And if the gift shop is severely lacking in picture frames, Print Mates can mail you your pictures in a frame of your choice as well.
So while we aren’t quite in the era of self-driving cars or pilotless airplanes, little bits of the flying experience will soon be missing the human touch. This may be a good thing, it may be a bad thing, but either way one thing is certain: If you want ice cream at the airport, it’s going to be a lot easier this summer.