Since Airbnb hosts are really just hotel operators on a micro-scale, it makes sense they’d eventually start to selling things to add to their bottom lines.
That’s the idea behind the Qvie, a tiny connected vending machine the size of a small mailbox that allows hosts to offer bottles of wine, snacks or pretty much whatever a host can fit inside.
The system consists of the box and a small base that manages up to 12 of the vending boxes and acts as a reader that scans a guest’s phone and charges them when they purchase at item.
The company spokesperson I spoke to at CES said that while the company is still working out the pricing and overall business model, one Qvie vending box and a base is expected to cost about $300. They also plan to charge a monthly fee for the backend management and commerce service provided for the Qvie system.
While $300 seems kind of steep, I like the idea of the Qvie. If I were a host, I would love to have some connected vending boxes in each of my Airbnb units and use them to garner additional revenue. The only question is the idea of a single-item vending machine enough? I could envision the next version of the Qvie could eventually become something closer to an unmanned store version of a hotel fridge.
Interestingly, the Qvie is the latest offering from Cerevo, a Japanese consumer electronics brand more known for their gaming hardware. According to the company, this is the first “sharing economy” product from Cerevo and they expect the Qvie to ship mid-2018.