Swag Monkeys to Descend on Cable Show

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Hate standing in line at trade shows to collect tchotchkes for the kids back home? Now there’s an app to automate swag distribution.

Startup Prize Monkey struck a deal with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association to bring its “mobile-activated” vending machines to the 2012 Cable Show (May 21-23 in Boston).

According to NCTA’s sponsorship and advertising info, the startup is asking $10,000 to $20,000 to get in on the action.

Prize Monkey’s automated prize-dispensing Wi-Fi kiosks — which feature a “full HD display” — will be placed throughout the convention center, letting attendees use a smartphone or tablet to enter their info to receive a small stuffed animal, flash drive or other promotional item.

Prize Monkey debuted its machine at the 2012 CES in January, at the show’s Eureka Park experimental exhibit area for startups.

Prize Monkey’s vending-machines enable what it calls “action currency — promoting our do-something-now, get-something-now approach,” co-founder Brad Thorne said in a release announcing the NCTA deal. “Mobile allows us to do that in a realistic way.”

Of course, Prize Monkey also dispenses with any actual human interaction — a simple smile and eye contact can buck up the weariest of show-goers. And the machines won’t be able to answer any questions you might have.

But at least these trade-show monkeys won’t ever get tired or demand overtime.


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