Sunday, March 6, 2011

Free idea - thumb drive vending machines

Here's yet another great idea that I don't have the resources to pursue. I would sign up or the service if it existed however. It involves actually stripping away functionality of existing hardware and software, so it can't be that tough.

First, invent the machine (I'll get to the parameters here in a minute). Next, deploy them around your test market as kiosks or boxes (like a Redbox) in very high traffic, public venues. You, the owner, can log into the machine and upload new files. Users can download files for free, onto a thumb drive. That's basically the extent of the parameters for the machine -a hard drive with monitor, secure upload, users can view icons and/or thumbnails and download only.

Revenue would come from local magazines, publications, artists, who want to make their material available to locals, free from the clutter of the web. It's the new info-tech equivalent of the free publication rack. It would also make electronic media readily accessible, even to people with low quality or no Internet access. But perhaps more importantly, it's a means of spotlighting and promoting locally produced digital content.

You'd probably have to pay for space or split revenue for kiosk placement. You'd also have to track downloads individually and collectively so you have compelling numbers to show potential customers (content creators). It's not without risk, as you may have to offer the service free until you can demonstrate effectiveness.

Have at it.

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