PepsiCo Unveils Smart Cans and Anna, an AI-powered Hydration Chatbot

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PepsiCo recently introduced a groundbreaking concept in promotional products with its new Smart Cans, which was showcased at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. These cans are equipped with wrap-around 3D screens capable of displaying high-definition video content, showing a new level of brand engagement strategy. At the event, PepsiCo also introduced an AI-powered “Hydration Coach” chatbot named Anna.

Key Takeaways:

  • PepsiCo’s Smart Cans feature 3D screens to display high-definition video content, aiming to redefine promotional products.
  • The cans include advanced technology, such as movement sensors and accelerometers, for a customizable user experience.
  • The initial distribution of Smart Cans will focus on content creators to create engaging video content.
  • The AI-powered “Hydration Coach” chatbot named Anna provides personalized hydration advice and will undergo market testing soon.

Developed over two years by PepsiCo’s beverage design team in Ireland. The Smart Cans are described as “brand portals” that deliver different content, including brand advertisements and sports updates. While they weigh 16 ounces, these cans do not contain any liquid. Instead, they are designed to represent Pepsi’s “new visual identity.” This aims to change promotional products by offering users exclusive content and membership in a global network of creators.

The technology implanted in the Smart Cans includes movement sensors, accelerometers, and sound systems. These added technologies allow users to customize their experiences. These cans are also connected devices. This connectivity allows users to interact with each other and share unique product codes, creating a community-driven experience. Initially, 1,000 content creators will receive the Smart Cans to produce videos that can be displayed on the cans.

Mauro Porcini, PepsiCo’s chief design officer, hinted at further developments for the Smart Cans in the coming months, highlighting their role as a “CANvas for self-expression” where users can enjoy personalized content streams from influencers in sports, music, and gaming.

In addition to the Smart Cans, PepsiCo also introduced an AI-powered “Hydration Coach” chatbot named “Anna” at the event. Anna has a touchscreen interface and it can answer your questions about hydration needs. These answers are based on data from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. This AI chatbot is set to be tested in select markets later this year or early 2025. It is also planned for broader availability of online and in-store displays.

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